Lupe Fiasco may have eased many fans’ uncertainty over his forthcoming album Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album yesterday by debuting the first single – a legitimate hip-hop single – “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)“, but the song stirred up some unexpected controversy. Sampling Pete Rock‘s iconic 1992 anthem “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)”, the super producer vented his anger towards the use of his beat via his Twitter account shortly after its release.
Subsequently, Lupe held a conference call with his label, Atlantic, moderated by DJ Whoo Kid, where he addressed said sample, shed light on the format of the forthcoming double album and its guest features, spoke on the deeper meanings behind his new music and more. See below for the full transcript.
On the “T.R.O.Y.” sample on “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)”:
“All the credit goes to my partner and manager Chill, he just felt like it was time to bring back a joint… Go back and take one of the iconic records of Hip Hop and put a new spin on it and put it back out there. I spit on it a couple times before, some mixtape stuff back in the day, Chill felt it needed a bigger look than that.”
On the format of ‘Food & Liquor 2′ and its guest appearances:
“It’s Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Part I. Part I, which “Freedom Ain’t Free” is the single off of, is coming in the next few months. It really ain’t got no features on there. It got a few people on the hooks and stuff like that, but no other real features other than myself. But that’s part one. It’s a double album. We’re probably 80% finished with part 2, which is going to come out a little later. It’s not finalized. You don’t know who’s going to be on it… Part 1 is done and there ain’t gonna be any features on there, but part 2, it maybe somebody coming at the last inning to drop a verse. We’ll see.”
On ‘F&L 2′ as an interpretation of America:
“The album is meant to be my interpretation of America. Politics, society, religion, class, race, food, all across the board. It was only right that we had to have a song that was a collage of that so people got it from the door that all these different things, topics that make up America, that make us Americans, the things that influence us and the things that we influence. You needed that first record to be the embodiment of that whole piece, the whole direction that we’re going in. This record is a collage, but it’s a more like an introduction. As you get into the album, as we release new records, and hopefully we’ll release the album in a few months, you’ll see that we focus on particular issues on particular songs. We will expand on something that may have came up in the second verse of “Freedom Ain’t Free”. There will be a whole song that speaks about this particular relationship in American society, or this particular phenomenon in American society, so people can get a good direction of where the album is going. You get it all in the first joint. But it’s not necessarily angry. The whole record’s not angry. It’s not coming from an angry place, it’s coming from a serious place.”
On changing people through his music:
“Over the past couple years, in the midst of being on tours and doing L.A.S.E.R.S. and doing all that kind of rapper, professional stuff, I’m a human being too. You study, read, hear different people speak, come under the tutelage of certain people, and expand your mind. That’s nothing to do with music, or trying to make money later on, just for me personally. You start to come up and start to realize certain things, which are just gonna be what they are. It’s just human nature. We’re pre-conditioned a certain way, conditioned to act a certain way, conditioned to consume, and walk, and talk a certain way. There’s a lot of things that we may personally hate, but we professionally support. We may hate that the environment is being destroyed. We may want our kids to have a certain environment, but we don’t buy Prius’. We’ll go buy the muscle car that will spit out all the oil, and damage and destroy the environment and what have you. We don’t necessarily see the connection of what we actually do and how it effects the rest of the world. For me, I’m not even on that anymore. I’m not even trying to get you to change anymore… There’s people who don’t want to get beat over the head all day with lyrics and crazy wordplay and metaphors. There’s people that just want to sit down and listen to music for what it is, and not feel like they’re taking SAT’s every time they come to a show.”