Grammy Award winning Hip Hop artist Lupe Fiasco has always had a progressive, urban spin on his intelligent and soulful sound. His third album Lasers has met with great success netting him his highest selling and chart ranking album to date. And that could be because it is also his most diverse and experimental album as well with a world message that is as relevant as the more romantic songs are charming like chart topping hit “Out of My Head”. I spent a few minutes chatting with the candid and amicable MC between stops on his Lasers Tour and he told me the evolution of his sound stems in part because “I’m more comfortable in my own skin, you know. I’m a little bit more aware of what my fan base is and how I can grow that fan base, how much freedom I have to experiment with different forms of music and I’m a little bit more comfortable with the reaction from the press, which is inevitable when you do things like that.” Not only does Fiasco’s sound put a fresh spin on Hip Hop but his lyrics are among some of the most inventive and relevant in the industry. When I asked him about his creative process he openly revealed, “I think sometimes it’s not as deliberate as it may seem.” Continuing, “Part of my creative process early was, whatever everybody else was doing, I would do left, you know. If everybody was turning right I was turning left, and if everyone was turning left I was turning right kind of a situation. But now, it kind of comes out of nowhere sometime to be honest.” Then added, “The message definitely comes from the world. The actual content comes from CNN or Al Jazeera or just things that I know exist in the world. But the actual putting it together, the styling and the music format and whatever, I have no idea.” With such a dynamic sound it shouldn’t surprise you then to learn that Fiasco’s influences and musical preferences are as wide ranging as experimental electronic music to quality driven alternative jams and reggae. “There’s definitely a canon of music I listen to. There’s a lot of the more experimental electronic kind of world, so things like Glitch Mob and M83 and then from the alternative world and the rock world I also like Silver Sun Pick Ups and Radiohead and Metallica and Killswitch Engage.” Concluding, “And then there’s my favorite band of all time which is, The Prodigy. And when it comes back to hip hop I still like Nas and Mos Def and even the newer guys like Kendrick Lamar and Kid Cudi who can definitely kind of catch my ear and keep my edge sharp I guess.” Lupe will be on the road for the next ten days in support of Lasers and he says his favorite song to perform this go around is, “It’s probably ‘I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now’. It became such a sleeper hit for us live that we literally do the song twice. We have a lot of fun and the crowd reaction is fun.” After the tour the talented and ambitious rapper doesn’t plan to slow down at all disclosing, “Me and my partner Scott started a dj collective called Sound Clash so we’re working on that album right now and hopefully we’ll have a single out by Halloween and will try and push an album out around that and tour and all that. There’s a Lupe Fiasco mixtape that’s coming which hopefully we’ll have out before the end of the year and that will hopefully lead up to the next Lupe Fiasco album. And that’s really it, just more touring, touring, touring and music, music, music, music.” He concludes, proving his success stems from a rich and cultured passion in music itself. Continue reading on A conversation with Lupe Fiasco – National pop music |