Lupe Fiasco’s Exit Stategy

With just two albums under his belt, this acclaimed Chi-town rapper is talking about retiring.

This attitude has helped Fiasco handle the hoopla that's attended his claim in a recent interview that he'd rather Hillary Clinton be elected president than Barack Obama, an African-American senator from his home state. He hardly sees himself as a Hillary booster, and dismisses his inclination toward her campaign as a trivial preference based entirely on gender. "For more than 200 years, the country's always been led by men, and there have always been problems. Let's see what happens with a woman. Just roll the dice and see what happens with a woman," he says. "And that's really it. It's really that non-thought-out and basic of a statement to make. Because the more thought-out argument I have is, I don't have faith in the system. I don't have faith that any candidate represents our whole idea of democracy," a noble principle whose origins are far from unstained. As he notes, "The Greek definition of democracy was written by people who owned slaves, who believed that women shouldn't vote and that slaves shouldn't vote, that people outside the capital shouldn't vote, and that the farmers shouldn't vote — that it was only for landowners and the elite." He thinks those who believe a new president will solve all their problems would be better off focusing their energy on local elections that might actually impact the way they live day to day.

Meanwhile, Fiasco isn't acting like a man ready to hang up his microphone. Items on his agenda include Child Rebel Soldier, a proposed hip-hop supergroup that would team him with Kanye West and Pharrell — if, that is, enough red tape can be slashed. "The CRS project is a monster, a seven-headed monster in itself, because there are three different record labels and three different, active artists on three different parts of the planet at any given time," he says. "Always when we brought up, like, 'Let's do CRS,' somebody would be like, 'All right, but I've got to go to Germany. I'll be right back.'"

Nevertheless, Fiasco insists that he's 85 percent certain he'll withdraw as a solo artist following the release of a third album, to be called L.U.P.End. But that leaves him some wiggle room in case he's beseeched to continue by someone like Cornel West, the Princeton professor whose suggestion that we have to "make it cool to be uncool" gave his latest CD its title and theme. "I actually just did the Tavis Smiley show, and he brought up Cornel West," Fiasco says. "He was talking about how one of Cornel West's lectures at Princeton is all about Lupe Fiasco. So to know that is there and to continue to give him material for his lectures...well, that's part of the other 15 percent."

Lupe Fiasco is the face of thought-provoking hip-hop.
Lupe Fiasco is the face of thought-provoking hip-hop.


With Optimus, 8 p.m. Sunday, January 20, Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway, $30, 303-830-8497.

Visit for more of our interview with Lupe Fiasco.

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help
Denver Concert Tickets

Concert Calendar

  • January
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu