Lupe Fiasco warped by Atlantic Record’s controlling hands

Lupe Fiasco warped by Atlantic Record's controlling hands

Lupe Fiasco performs a pre show of his L.A.S.E.R.S album in Atlanta, Georgia (Annette Brown, Getty Images, photo)

Lupe Fiasco, a growing rap influence in the industry released his third record after a three year long battle with Atlantic Records over creative freedom and commercialization.

A growing problem in the music industry is the restraints on the Art, the Artist, and the Sell Out options. L.A.S.E.R.S., released Mar. 8, is a product of this constant battle with a rap artist who is fighting for his right to produce freely. The album is nothing compared to The Cool, and Food, and Liquor.  With the leak of “Words I Never Said” ft. Skylar Grey, a politically charged album was expected of Lupe. Open minded, free, and controversial. Instead, Lupe’s album was a mix of overproduced beats and lyrics and the true Lupe.

Obviously, “Out of My Head” ft. Trey Songz was the label forcing Lupe to compromise. It is so uncharacteristically poppy and made for the club, it’s ridiculous. In fact, with Trey Songz added into the mix, Lupe’s trademark for mixing genres seems like it flew out the window.

“Out of My Head” is just like every other rap song out there on the radio. Even, “I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now” ft MDMA is absolutely pointless, mindless. It’s just a bunch of words and slang thrown together with a catchy chorus. Lupe Fiasco has never been like every other rapper, so to see him in this position now is heartbreaking.

The entire album seems to be more made of computer generated music instead of instruments, guitars, violins, pianos…Lupe has always incorporated real talent into his albums, and now, because of Atlantic Record’s need to sell more singles and get more radio-play, the album is made for the club. The message that Lupe wanted out is there, just in a more mainstream way, which in turn, kills the meaning.

Like “State Run Radio” ft Matt Mahaffey, the entire song is about the music becoming something it isn’t, mindless number one hits. A direct contradiction, considering “State Run Radio” is produced in such a way that the focus is on the catchy rhythms and not the lyrics.

Of course, to the untrained ears, the album is good; it’s catchy and worthy of the ‘repeat’ option on your iPod. But the meaning, the message, the true point that Lupe tried so desperately to get across is buried underneath all of the feature artists, techno beats, triple layered bass, and various producers. What needs to be noticed and heard that got drowned out, is his lyrics. Hopefully though, Lupe will finally shake off the shackle that is Atlantic Records.