Lupe Fiasco interview

Lupe Fiasco interview
You made a name for yourself as a Hip Hop artist with a strong sense of social awareness. What would you recommend for Hip Hop fans to increase their own social knowledge base?

The community plays a serious role. Just go see what’s really wrong in your community and try to find solutions. A lot of solutions are like community groups and organizations. If it’s an education problem, there are afterschool programs and all types of things that are education based. A lot of stuff is lacking just education. There are a lot of other stuff, but education will take care of it. But you gotta really want to do it. You gotta recognize that there is something really wrong and want to change it and be willing to make the sacrifice. So if you are willing to do that, there is nothing that I can say. I can do songs to motivate or inspire, but I can’t make you do anything.

You’ve studied martial arts. Do you feel that such background influenced your personality as a Hip Hop artist?

Yeah, martial arts gave me a lot of discipline, it opened me up to a lot of different cultures, it taught me how to focus. It also taught me the importance of sensitivity. And the importance of conflict management, which comes out a lot in my records too. So, yeah, definitely, definitely.

As far as the US politics, do you feel that President Bush and his cabinet are to blame for a lot of the current problems and it was much better with President Clinton or do you think this is just how the US operates in general?

I think it’s just how US operates in general. If it’s not Middle East, it was Vietnam. If it wasn’t Vietnam it was Korea. It was somewhere in Europe or somewhere in Southern America. I think it’s just a US policy, I think that certain people have grown a certain insensitivity to it thou, such as George Bush. So his nonsense toward the whole situation had escalated it even further, but I just think it’s America.

Our country has become greatly involved in the Middle East. Do you think it will change when the Iraq involvement is over or will this state of affairs continue?

As long as there is money to be made we gonna be there. Until it’s just drawn out dry, [then] it’s a wrap.

Do you feel that being an African-American Muslim is harder or easier than being an African-American Christian?

Umm… I don’t know, it’s odd, I’ve never been asked that question before. But I think that being an African-American Muslim is double hard, cause its not an Islamic country, it’s a Christian country. So you face two battles, you face being black in America in a white led society and you face being a Muslim in a Christian society.

The message of peace and the message of struggle are constant in Hip Hop. Often it is coupled with the message of violence. What message do you feel will prevail?

In this climate? I think the message of violence. I think the message of peace and the message of struggle and upliftment hits certain people, but I think overall, if you look at who sells the most records, it’s the most violent acts in Hip Hop. So just because of sheer numbers it’s automatically the violence.

You’ve mentioned only wanting to do 3 albums total. Were you serious about that?

Done! (Makes a cutting motion with his hand). 3! 1, 2, 3.

You’re not gonna change your mind like so many other people?

Probably not, we’ll see what happens thou.

Well, we all hope you will!