Lupe Fiasco Says He Was Forced To Make “The Show Goes On”
Although Lupe’s label troubles seemed to be a thing of the past, the rapper reveals that his forthcoming album still has some skeletons in its closet.
In a new interview with Complex.com, Lupe Fiasco aired out some dirty laundry between himself and his label, Atlantic Records. According to the Chi-town native, there were multiple facets of his pending Lasers release that were simply out of his hands, including the recently-gold-certified single, “The Show Goes On”.
“I didn’t have nothing to do with that record. That was the label’s record,” he told Complex. “That wasn’t like I knew the producer or knew the writer or anything like that. That was one of those records the record company gave me.”
The Chicago native elaborated, saying that the president of the label himself presented him with “Show Goes On”. “[Last April] I was backstage at a show at the House of Blues in L.A. and the president of [Atlantic Records] came to me and said, ‘Hey check this out, I got this song.’ He played ‘Show Goes On’ for me on the iPod,” he recalled. The label had presented him with other tracks, he said, saying that “The Show Goes On” was approximately the 10th song to be pushed on him by the label.
While he didn’t offer any specifics about the deal that he struck with Atlantic, he did make it clear that the track was a critical part the negotiations. “I had to do ‘Show Goes On,’ that was like the big chip on the table. I had to do it and it had to be the first single if the record was going to come out.” He continued, saying that “Never Forget You”, his collaborative track with singer John Legend, was another track that Atlantic forced him to include on the album.
“And I know John Legend, he’s a cool dude,” explained Lupe. “But it was just a record he had sitting around and Exec A or Exec B heard it, and they were like, ‘Oh yeah! We’re going to put this on Lupe.’”
He continued, saying that, although he’s satisfied with the way the album came out, in some ways he hates Lasers because of the issues that arose throughout the completion of the project.
One of the rapper’s latest singles, “Words I Never Said”, which features Skylar Gray, though, was a track that Lupe worked on directly with producer Alex Da Kid, he explained. “The first day I heard it, I went into the studio and recorded it,” Fiasco recalled. “The song had a bridge we took out because initially, the song was supposed to be about a relationship, like a boyfriend/girlfriend, Drake song or something. And I’m like, ‘Nah, I’m going to talk about world affairs.’”
“I’m basically saying the same things I’ve said on other mixtapes and albums. [The song] is not a big step for me. It’s not me striving to do anything different.”
This interview comes after an extended battle between Lupe and Atlantic Records. The label was reportedly stalling on the release of his newest album after the rapper refused to sign a “360 record deal” that would force him to pay Atlantic a portion of the proceeds he earned from shows and merchandise — money that usually belongs solely to the artist.
The two parties eventually struck a deal near the end of 2010, announcing the release of the album in the first quarter of 2011. It’s still unclear what the exact terms of the agreement between Lupe and Atlantic were.
Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers is slated to be released on March 8 via Atlantic Records.
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