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Rapper Lupe Fiasco Talks 'Lasers,' and Being Labeled 'Socially Conscious' with The Hilltop

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Updated: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 06:03

Lupe Fiasco

Jasmin Carnelus

Lupe Fiasco

Catapulting into success after the release of his album Food and Liquor, Lupe Fiasco has remained a household name. Known for his socially conscious and thought provoking lyrics, Fiasco continues the trend with the release of his new album Lasers. Fiasco sat down with the Hilltop to discuss everything from how he sees himself musically to a few things his fans may not know about him.

Hilltop: When you went in to record this album what was your goal? What did you want people to take from it?

Fiasco: I just wanted to push the positive message that was in the manifesto. Hopefully people will take and build it as best as they possibly can. Also to put out good music.

Hilltop: What makes this album different from your last musically and lyrically?

Fiasco: This one is a little bit more pop, a little more commercial oriented. I'm focused on more radio records, but that was just musically. Lyrically and content wise it's the same as all of my other records, social conscious, social awareness, and self-determination and things of that nature.

Hilltop: Is there any significant meaning behind the name of the album?

Fiasco: Yes, Lasers stands for Love Always Shines Every time remember to Smile.

Hilltop: What is your favorite song on the album? Why?

Fiasco: ‘All Black Everything'. It just feels right, like that should be my favorite song.

Hilltop: Do you know what the next single will be?

Fiasco: The next single is actually a double hit. We're going to put the video out for ‘Words I Never Said' in a couple of weeks and the next single they are pushing is ‘Out of My Head' featuring Trey Songs.

Hilltop: Who influences you as an artist? Not just musically, but in general.

Fiasco: There's a long list. People like Cornell West, Chomsky, my mama. You know regular people and stories, like the cold miners in Ohio. Musically, it's everywhere, there's Queen, Nas, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, and it runs the gamut.

Hilltop: I've seen you in concert twice and you put on a really good show, what is going through your mind when you're on the stage?

Fiasco: I like to have a lot of fun. To me the stage and that connection with my fans is immediate, so I take advantage of it and throw myself into completely.

Hilltop: There's a song on The Cool album titled ‘Put You On Game.' What exactly is it referring to?

Fiasco: The Cool consisted of three characters: the game, the streets, and the cool. This song is the marquee song for the game. He's the personification of the ills and evils of this world. The record was meant to be really dark and shocking, speaking of all the social ills and him promoting it. He portrays the ultimate villain and how can you combat that.

Hilltop: I think many people would consider some of your lyrics socially conscious. Is there any social cause or charity that your are passionate about and advocate for?

Fiasco: We just started the Lupe Fiasco Foundation with a heavy lean on education and redefining what education is and giving people meaningful educations based on what they want to do in life.  Also nutrition and urban agriculture is a big part of it as well as the arts, not only music but performing arts too. There is also a literacy branch. Right now it is based out of Chicago but we are connecting worldwide, we have student exchange programs in Korea, Chicago, and places in South America. It's going well hopefully it will turn into something national and have that scheme of other organizations that are doing things to build community and self-determination.

Hilltop: Have you already started working on another project?

Fiasco: Yes, I'm working on Food and Liquor 2 and the next Japanese cartoon album, my punk band and that's pretty much it.

Hilltop: Do you have any hidden talents?

Fiasco: I have four black belts I'm a martial arts master. I've been doing it since I was like three years old.

Hilltop: For people who may be looking to get into the industry, what advice would you give them?

Fiasco: I'm mute on that; I'm starting to have reservations on people coming into the industrialized music business. I'm redefining my perspective on it from these last events that I went through for this record. I have a new understanding of it, so I'm a little bit hesitant to give people advice because I haven't fully developed my new point of view on the music business.

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