Lupe Fiasco has often been regarded as one of the most talented lyricists alive, but his last few projects haven't been as well-received by critics. During a recent performance, he explained why he hasn't been doing his best.
In short: it's his tumultuous relationship with Atlantic Records.
“Since Lasers, I’ve never really put my all in a project because I felt that Atlantic didn’t deserve shit. So I took a L,” Fiasco said at the show.
His first two albums Food & Liquor and The Cool garnered critical acclaim and Grammy Awards, but his third album Lasers was held up due to disputes with the label. After Lupe revealed that the label was unwilling to release it, fans started a petition and threatened to protest in the streets for the album to get a firm release date.
Since then, Lupe said this week, he has never given Atlantic Records his best effort - and that includes his latest, DROGAS Light. He said that even though the album was formally released through his indie label 1st & 15th, Atlantic was still getting paid from the sales.
“DROGAS Light was almost like a compilation of old-ass songs that we had just kinda laying around,” he said. “Because I made a promise to myself … around like L.A.S.E.R.S., I knew that there was gonna be some bullshit. So I was like, ‘You know what? I will never, ever, ever, as long as I’m on this label, give this label my heart. What I really believe in. What I’m truly feeling.’ Cause I feel like if you’re working with somebody they have to show you some love back. And show that they deserve your work and your time.”
Fortunately, Lupe says his fans will get what they love him for with his next record, DROGAS WAVE. He has previously said that he would release three final albums: DROGAS LIGHT, DROGAS, and SKULLS. It's unclear if DROGAS WAVE is simply one of those albums retitled, or if it's a new project altogether.
“DROGAS Wave, which is the next album after DROGAS Light … I’m not even saying this to sell records and get you all hyped up,” Lupe said. “I’ve heard shit. Shit is amazing. Shit is going to be fucking crazy. From DROGAS Wave on, you’ll be getting the fully complex, fully involved Lupe Fiasco. And the good thing about it is that it’s already done.”
Watch Lupe speak about his issues with Atlantic Records below, and visit LupeFiasco.com for his current tour schedule.