Lupe Fiasco: Hip-Hop's Greatest Whiner

Categories: Hip-Hop

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It's time for the hallowed halls of hip-hop history to start giving Lupe Fiasco his due respect. Not, you understand, as a purveyor of conscientious rap music bursting with positive-leaning messages; nor for the Chicago-based rapper's ground-breaking work as a foremost collector of limited edition Japanese toys and selvedge denim. And not even for simply holding the envious position of being Kanye West's lesser-famed friend. Nope, Lupe is long overdue righteous recognition for his unparalleled service in establishing himself as hip-hop's greatest-ever whiner. If there is something to moan about, Lupe's already got a soundbite ready to roll.

Five years ago, Lupe dropped his debut album, Food & Liquor. It would have been better titled Licensed To Bitch. Since its release, we've had to endure a long and torturous half-decade of Lupe consistently complaining about the world around him, most times in a disingenuous manner, and every time underscored with the idea that we should all be paying much more attention to Lupe. This is punctuated by recurring threats to quit rap music (which are always reneged once he realizes no ones really cares). It's a moanful and, most times, hypocritical persona Lupe has been perfecting since his formative years.

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According to Lupe's self-made mythology, as a kid he hated hip-hop. To his ears, it was loathsome music that disrespected women with wonton glee while bandying around unnecessary curse words. (Lupe grew up in a household that subscribed to National Geographic, so you know his parents frowned on cursing at the dinner table.) As he rapped on "Hurt Me Soul," from his debut: "I used to hate hip-hop, yep, because the women it degraded." And: "I had a ghetto bop boy, a Jay-Z boycott/ 'Cause he said he never prayed to God, he prayed to Gotti."

But then, somehow, Lupe decided that rhymes could pay. So suddenly he liked rap. And attempted to etch out a career as a rapper who recited lyrics like, "You know I don't pop-pop at the bar/But I might send pop-pops through your car." (He's talking about guns.) That's just one of many choice lyrics from the song "Pop Pop." It was an utterly unconvincing attempt at some sort of post-Ruff Ryders, club-hoppin' gangsta rap track.

So Lupe flip-flopped back into not really liking rap, but deciding that he wanted to get all proactive and redress the balance with raps full of moralistic nourishment. He latched on to fellow Chi-Town artist Kanye West and somehow -- possibly through many months of persistent pandering -- wrangled his way onto West's Curtis Mayfield-sampling mega-hit "Touch The Sky." His debut album followed a year later in 2006.

True to form though, it was barely a year after Food & Liquor dropped that Lupe started to mutter to the media about how he was going to quit the business of rap. "The interview process, the radio process, the video process, the budget process -- that shit wears at you," he told the website Pitchfork, magically making all those working arduous 12-hour shifts stocking shelves at supermarkets suddenly empathize with his harsh lot in life.

The goodwill towards Lupe took a further hit during what ludicrously became tagged as Fiascogate. At the 2007 VH1 Hip-Hop Honors award show, Lupe was invited to perform a tribute to golden-era rap heroes A Tribe Called Quest. Along with Busta Rhymes and Common, he took to the stage to perform a rendition of Tribe's "Electric Relaxation."

Wherein Lupe flubbed his lyrics.

Instead of manning up and taking his gaff gracefully, Lupe decided to tell the world he never really listened to Tribe anyway. He'd never heard Tribe's Midnight Marauders, the album containing "Electric Relaxation," in its entirety. That may or may not be the case; what smarted most about Fiascogate was the sheer lack of professionalism: As a rapper, it's hardly a taxing task to learn a couple of verses of someone else's song. It's kinda what you do, right?

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39 comments
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Thewrldislame
Thewrldislame

This article is trash...plain and simple(grab the shit off the screen crumples it up and burned it)

Mextal
Mextal

all main stream media (MSM), including hip$hop, is controlled. i have the strong sense that rappers can't rap about what they really want. why is it, then, that it's all about money and 'hoes'? Which, as a WOMAN, is an offensive concept! women are not game, not bitches, not hoes, but humans. so, much respect for Lupe for standing up to what's WRONG. 

Jordan
Jordan

Hahaha sounds like you're the one here that's looking for attention and you're just mad that you can't get it lol

Thomas SharkƎy
Thomas SharkƎy

Lupe Fiasco is a talented artist, and that's the only reason this article was made. If you were to talk bad on any other mainstream artist, no one would read it because they'd say, "no shit, that artist sucks. We all know that arleady." You pick someone like Lupe Fiasco because he's a conscious, political rapper who speaks the truth. Go listen to hype music if that's what gets you off. The author of this article doesn't have any reason to think Lupe's statements about how his label controls him or how the US is an imperialistic terrorist nation, is a "personal attention technique."

Thomas SharkƎy
Thomas SharkƎy

Lupe Fiasco is a talented artist, and that's the only reason this article was made. If you were to talk bad on any other mainstream artist, no one would read it because they'd say, "no shit, that artist sucks. We all know that arleady." You pick someone like Lupe Fiasco because he's a conscious, political rapper who speaks the truth. Go listen to hype music if that's what gets you off. The author of this article doesn't have any reason to think Lupe's statements about how his label controls him or how the US is an imperialistic terrorist nation, is a "personal attention technique."

wow
wow

LMAO roach gigz ??? really??? this guy must not have a brain. Music like Roach gigz is what has the bay area so dumb and close minded.

Packerfan317
Packerfan317

this guy is literally a fucking moron.  and believe me, i know what im talking about.

Franch
Franch

If you don't like Lupe, man up and just say so, instead of trying to pass this ludicrous article of as journalism. Every rapper/musician has made mistakes in their career, why single him out?

Your article could be edited and be true for practically every artist out there. As for Lasers that album was a contract album - he was forced to do it and then it was altered by his record label. 

I like Lupe as he is lyrically gifted and he doesn't have to be offensive in his music to sell records. Further, he comments about what is bad in the world. That may come of as whining to people, like the author of this article whining, but to people who care about the world they live in it is known as social commentary. I can't wait for his next album and hope he will have more creative control over it.

Joshua
Joshua

This article sucks. You shouldn'y be hating on Lupe just for speaking his mind. You don't like him don't listen to him. Simple as that!And yes Drake is a bitch, he says he came from nothing, yet he grew up a star.

Qtiprick
Qtiprick

how did anyone let this article get published? 

lupebrahh
lupebrahh

Dude, i’m gonna type as sober as possible, that honestly looks fcking pathetic and digusting compared to my article. and I’m being one hundred percent serious. Sorry we dont write sht that was perviously in cans. you’re a fuking joke dude, and im dead fuking serious. gert areal family that writes good articles, drinks beer and wine and winecoolers and has a good fuking time, and has a milliondollar house on the beach, im seriously.. dont eever potst your fuking poverty article on this blog ever the fuk again bro, and by bro i mean never my bro, fuking phaggot.

Selector D
Selector D

Redemption for this article found in the comments - Lupe deserves better, especially compared to the drivel that passes for most mainstream hip hop. When was the last time a number one album had a song that started "I really think the war on terror is bullshit"? 

ATI
ATI

A disingenuous, whiny article about a rapper who is supposedly disingenuous and whiny. Interesting angle, Phil.

Ladarius
Ladarius

This is the most ignorant & uninformed article I've read this year. O'le hating ass nigga. Actually do your research and do it right cause everything you said is wrong. The reason why he rapped the way he did back then, his relationship with kanye, why he changed and start making conscious hip hop, why he wanted to quit (which was because he just wanted to make 3 albums not that bullshit you are saying) and whole lasers thing. But you probably did it on purpose cause hating ass niggas don't care if what they are saying is correct. They just lie. This article is nothing more than bait to draw attention to this shitty ass blog that no one knows, or care about.  seriously the most popular post on this blog only has 24 comments ha! I guess Bryan Crawford changed his name Phillip Mlynar.

Zubair
Zubair

I used to hate rap music myself. Now I listen to it more than any other genre. It's never sudden. It's when you realise it's more than just bitches and hos.

What a shit article. Lupe's not perfect, no one is. Find me a rapper with a clean slate?

Oh. And Obama IS a terrorist.

Guest
Guest

This is a horrible article, completely one-sided and false. Most of the events in this article are out of order or not true. Wikipedia is not the most reliable source but it is clearly more reliable than the source that the writer used for this article. If you want to understand what Lupe stands up for than look at him talking about Occupy Wall Street on youtube. Kanye then followed him and made an appearance at Occupy Wall Street. Fuck haters

Speechster
Speechster

Dude, your article was both stupid and dumb. Now pulling that off was a true talent. Congrats to you!

Jeremydesa
Jeremydesa

This was just a garbage article. As far as rap is concerned Lupe is lyrically one of the greatest ever. As far as being a diva, he is not even one of the top 10 diva's in the rap game, let alone the music industry. Just a weak sauce piece of writing. 

Jehada31
Jehada31

whiner? really? sounds more like he's a story teller... an eye opener for the idiots in the world. he speaks the truth, try it some time its not as bad as you think clowns 

Kamar James Daniel
Kamar James Daniel

This is probably the most worthless article I've ever read.Your mind can't even comprehend the things Lupe talks about in his rhymes. Would you rather have a rapper talk about nothing important, as long the beat sounds nice (Lil Wayne)? Also, Lupe doesn't just complain about society and does nothing about it. He has the Lupe Fiasco Foundation, where he provides for kids in hometown: Chicago. He completed a Summit for Africa, where he provided water to families there. And those are just two things. And let's not forget Occupy Wall St.

Now my question to you is, what are you doing about the problems in this nation? At least Lupe makes them known, instead of ignoring them.

Carlos
Carlos

Single out Lupe Fiasco? In a hip hop world of drug promoters, felons and gang members! Any true Lupe fan knows his music is about spreading awareness of social issues and positivity about belief in yourself. Lupe's music is aimed at the kids in projects encouraging them to break free from the cycle and make their own success. It probably doesn't have as much appeal to a kid named Phllip from the burbs.

No where in the article does Dr. Phillention Lupe's dedication to his Islamic religion- one o his most defiining characteristics. He doesn't drink, do drugs or eat pork! In a world of "girl let me see you pop it- pop it for that paper..." -lil Wayne or "...dick muncher, spermrag. Cumdumpster..." -T.I. among countless others.

Lupe's convictions are noble. "little soldier" a song about African child soldiers. He's made songs about rape, women's rights and the war on terror. So sorry if don't buy into this self indulgent rant if you characterize him as a whiner. Listen to the song "switch (the science project)" if you really want to get an idea of what goes on in the mind of Wasalu Jaco.

find this article to be a stretch.

Troyfidy
Troyfidy

what kind of hater ass shit is this?

Greg C.
Greg C.

I personally like that Lupe "bitches" about the world we live in.  I respect that he speaks out on those things instead of glorifying them.  I guess this "reporter" perfers Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and the neverending list of rappers who promote drugs, violence, and sexual promiscuity.  Lupe continue to do what you do and we will pray for the haters like Phillip Mlynar.  L.A.S.E.R.S.

Gil
Gil

You just bitched for 2 pages about someone bitching too much. You sound like a 16 year old fat girl

Tre
Tre

This article is spot on. He even complains about the cost of having to put together a free mixtape and lashed out at bloggers for leaking his music.

After all his whining and putting out a horrible album, he's lost me as a fan. I still love The Cool but I wish him all the best with his new Lasers fanbase.

Marquiceon Haynes
Marquiceon Haynes

No, it's not. It's totally opinionated. The only thing that I could agree on was how he shouldn't have handled the "Fiascogate" situation the way he did. But he doesn't complain about having to put together mixtapes. He just doesn't like to waste his time on b/s material and lyrics. He'd rather use his energy to release albums. And of course he lashed out at bloggers for leaking his music! THEY STOLE IT!!! I'm sure you'd be mad if somebody stole the computer you typed this on, right!? You'd be even more pissed if you'd made the computer yourself! It's the same thing! His music is his livelihood. He can't make any money if people can just get it for free. And Lasers was horrible because Atlantic Records forced him to change it. That wasn't his fault. He said that months and months before it came out. He said he hated the album BEFORE it came out. Do your research. He's still the same rapper from the 'The Cool' (which is my favorite album thus far). His label just wants to change him.

Tre
Tre

For comparison, look at J.Cole. He's had his album pushed back after Who Dat didn't go so well...kept on his grind, dropped free music / mixtapes, didn't complain or blame anyone about his situation / record label.

Then managed to drop a quality album that was not dumbed down (at least compared to Lasers) and managed to outsell Lupe Fiasco's album in the first week.

Marquiceon Haynes
Marquiceon Haynes

Ummm...'Food and Liquor' got pushed back plenty of times! It even got leaked and Lu had to remake some of the songs. The album still came out... Lupe also had 3 mixtapes out before 'Food and Liquor'. Btw, any artist has the right to complain if their record label keeps pushing their album back. It's not the artist's fault; it's the label's. 'Food and Liquor' wasn't even close to dumbed down. It was a masterpiece; if you want to make a fair comparison, that is. 'Food and Liquor' (Lupe's first album) vs. J. Coles' first album. 'Food and Liquor' received 4-Grammy Award Nominations. J.Cole so far? Nada. Yeah, he may have outsold Lupe's newest album; but Lu had a lot more creative freedom with his first two albums. The label stuck their fingers in it for his 3rd album because they felt that  a 700,000 copy-selling album ('The Cool') wasn't successful. You have no real argument, because there is no comparison to be made. And for the record, at least 5 songs on J. Cole's album are solely about money and sex... That's the definition of dumbed down.

guest
guest

The difference is J. Cole is signed directly to Jay-Z where as Lupe is signed to Atlantic. So I'm sure J. Cole has a lot more creative control than Lupe does.

mattfromthefuture
mattfromthefuture

This seems more like an excuse for an article from someone who doesn't like Lupe. There are TONS of rappers who just do things for attention. LIKE ALL OF THEM. If you don't like Lupe and want to write an article about it, just be straightforward and don't pussyfoot around the issue by doing this.

Antankhamun
Antankhamun

Davinci is ok at best, but seriously Roach Gigz is deserving of the platform that Lupe has? That statement there just threw battery acid on everything you said before it.  Yea Lupe says some outlandish things at times, but there's no denying his lyrical ability.  He just doesn't have the heart for the music business.  But that definitely doesn't mean artists wit way less talent deserve his spot MUSICALLY.

RandomDudeThatLikesMusic
RandomDudeThatLikesMusic

-___-. It seems that people tend to take shots at people they don't really listen to. Like even going back to that "Pop Pop" song. Negro said that at first that's all he knew as far as hip hop when he first started rapping. Times and people change. As far as him saying "i quit" There's plenty of rappers who say that they wish they'd rather not be in the music business. Plenty. In my opinion the business aspect really messes with the music and creativity, but at the end of the day its a business. This article is just dumb. You really sound like a whiny teenager here. The whole Obama thing, thats debatable. I may agree with you there. The twitter thing, whatever. Big Whoop. You clearly did this article for attention oppose from "Journalism"

Hugh Isaacs II
Hugh Isaacs II

"This is punctuated by recurring threats to quit rap music (which are always reneged once he realizes no ones really cares). "

Actually it wasn't a "no one cares" situation, it was a "Atlantic has me tied to a contract" situation. 

And he hates Lasers because it isn't the album he made, Atlantic forced him to pretty much load it up with pop music. Patrick Stump in an interview talked about the original album and how different it was from what's currently on store shelves.

Jabsohm
Jabsohm

Lol you sound like a whiny bitch . Chose a less parasitic profession that you're slightly better at.

Idirisao4life
Idirisao4life

I found this article hilarious. Everyone in Hip-Hip is fucking crazy. To single out lupe just seems random. Yes sometimes he doesnt tie a bow around every statement but its not because he's arrogant or petulant or whatever bullshit is in this article. The media is a joke, latching onto people looking for soundbites that define someones persona. I believe were all part of his elaborate public image joke, almost satire in it's sense. For someone to take it all seriously and call Lupe the biggest moaner tells me it's a slow news day. He had a rational reason for calling Obama a terrorist in a Q&A hosted by Cornell West. He hates lasers not because of the music but how many people's lives were ruined, fired for leaks that weren't there fault and the struggle to get his project released. And how can someone that's never listened to a trible called quest, make such a better homage than "Paris, Tokyo".

All geniuses are flawed, but everyone in hip hop complains, and to say lupe is the biggest is laughable when theres idiots everywhere else. Hehe Haha Hehe

Due
Due

- You're right on with that."Lupe consistently complaining about the world around him."- Who doesn't complain about the world we live in now? Also, i would be pretty mad about my "WHOLE" album being leaked. :c

"This is punctuated by recurring threats to quit rap music"- I can understand your anger in him because of his "quitting" rap moments,but"How can we expect rappers NOT to "retire" from music at the peak when we all see how rough a trip it can be on the way down from the mountaintop?" - KohanMusic Rappers will always be rapping though even if there not in the game.

"But then, somehow, Lupe decided that rhymes could pay. So suddenly he liked rap."- He didn't suddenly like rap. He was listening to some Nas album back in middle or high school which got him on the mindset of hip hop not being too vulgar.

"It was an utterly unconvincing attempt at some sort of post-Ruff Ryders, club-hoppin' gangsta rap track"- Might be unconvincing for yourself, but not for everybody y'know.

"Instead of manning up and taking his gaff gracefully, Lupe decided to tell the world he never really listened to Tribe anyway."- Lupe made a mistake in a career. Who doesn't though? ;\ Ex.Kayne West Taking The Mic. From Taylor Swift.

"He told CBS, "The biggest terrorist is Obama and the United States of America." - A rational reasoning indeed. Obama/USA is causing the "Terror" in other countries.

"He was, er, quitting Twitter. "It was fun while it lasted," he tweeted."- He had to hyped it up for people to know about Nikki y'know.

"His tick for promoting Lasers was to decide that, oh, he didn't like the album after all -- actually, he "hated" it."- He actually did hate it because of Atlantic Records Like Nas has stand up against, also. He was still pretty down about his father passing away, too around that period of time. Like previously mentioned in the above post about "LASERS." plus he essentially had to dumb down his songs.

"What frustrates most about Lupe's insistent moaning is that he's had every chance to forge a music career handed to him."- His music career is still going strong though. In my eyes, he had forged himself a music career for now. We all got artists in our mind that we want to have more of an opportunity.

In conclusion, one fact is that Lupe does whine.We all complain when we see the ineffective way in which the world is run, polluted, exploited, and as we feel we too are exploited, and damaged by others, and negative situations that have been made.I hope @fb57ace7cced420fe0392ab1509b2505:disqus doesn't mind me copying and pasting."All geniuses are flawed, but everyone in hip hop complains, and to say Lupe is the biggest is laughable when there are idiots everywhere else in this messed up media.

jackterrier
jackterrier

"I'm really happy for you. I'll let you finish, but Drake is the biggest whining rapper of all time!"-Kanye

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