It’s been a tumultuous past two days for Lupe Fiasco and if you’re up to speed with what’s happening in the life of the Chicago rapper, you know that he’s quit music. Or at least that’s what he said on his Twitter account a couple of hours ago. It all started with a freestyle Lupe posted on Soundcloud on Monday under the title ‘N.E.R.D’. As usual the rap contained some anti-establishment railing and a few words for rappers who don’t quite cut the mustard. But it’s with the former that a number of people had a problem with; the part where he complained about “artists getting robbed by dirty Jewish execs that think it’s alms from the covenant.”
Before long Lupe was having to defend himself against a barrage of “not cool”-type responses in the Twittosphere. One Brian Katz sarcastically commented, “Hey @LupeFiasco just logging on to say big up for perpetuating stereotypes of Jews as filthy and greed, good looks!” In response, Lupe tried to explain that he wasn’t talking about all Jews, just a few of them who had wronged him and other artists. Seeking to exonerate himself from perceived anti-Semitism, he went ahead and named the offending execs as Lyon Cohen and Craig Kallman. Lyon told him to sign a new contract or risk invalidating his current deal and Craig negotiated a deal behind his back giving away 85% of his publishing rights to his ‘Airplanes’ song.
As the back-and-forth reached fever pitch, Lupe suddenly tweeted his retirement as a recording artist. “I get the hint God. Yo Lupe fans it’s been fun and I hope you’ve had fun. I’m officially not releasing any more music. Albums cancelled.” He followed it up with, “Getting beat up for telling the truth is not how I plan on spending the rest of life”. This pair of tweets were greeted with a wave of messages from fans expressing gratitude for the music he released in the past and sadness that the announced ‘Drogas’, ‘Skulls’ and ‘Drogas Light’ albums set for this year would never be released.
That’s not where the story ended. A few hours ago the Anti-Defamation League released a statement saying in part, “It is irresponsible for a recording artist to perpetuate the hateful anti-Semitic stereotype of the ‘greedy Jew’”. This sparked a fresh round of tweets from Lupe aimed at the organization’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt. One of them included a photo of one of Lupe’s mentors who happens to be a Jew.
We don’t know how that argument will end, but it seems certain that one of the most potent rappers of this generation has hanged up his mic.
Miami Based, Internationally Known