All Articles Tagged "lupe fiasco"
Jay Z is busy making headlines for his transition from rapper to sports manager. And he’s not the only one making career decisions that make folks scratch their heads. These celebrities are making hard lefts and abandoning their god given talent for…other things.
Does singing love songs in the 90s make you qualified to give love advice in 2013? Apparently Keith thinks so. The R&B crooner is launching a new dating website called True Love Meets. Apparently it has the real answer to the question “who can love you like me?”
Life at a 9 to 5 can be rough. When the boss is on you and your co-workers stay on some mess, it’s hard to hold your tongue. And apparently, your job can be tough even if you’re living the dream and getting paid six or more figures. The next time you think about poppin’ off at the mouth, remember what happened to these celebrities who couldn’t hold their tongues.
Word on the street is that Stacey’s diva mentality is the reason she hasn’t been on screen in a hot minute. In early March 2012, there were rumors that Stacey was fired from the movie Supremacy for disrespecting producers and replaced by Lela Rochon. Later that same month, In Touch Weekly reported that Stacey was asked not to return for Season 2 of Single Ladies, despite high ratings, because she “feuded with the cast, canceled promos and caused entirely too much drama.”
I’m wondering who didn’t get the memo on Lupe Fiasco’s opinion of Barack Obama when they asked him to perform during inauguration events this weekend. It was literally only a little less than six months ago that he called President Obama a “baby killer” while speaking out against US drone attacks on Al Qaeda forces, which is why I don’t understand why he was invited to headline the StartUp RockOn concert in celebration of Obama’s reelection Sunday.
In true, Lupe fashion, the rapper accepted the invitation, but instead of using his platform to perform, he made some very strong political statements. According to the Huffington Post, when Lupe hit the stage at The Hamilton in Washington, he proudly announced that he didn’t even vote for the president in the 2012 election and then spent the next 30 minutes performing an anti-war song. Not exactly the type of performance one would expect at a celebration to commemorate four more years.
These antics quickly found Lupe a new soundstage outside of The Hamilton when, after he refused to move on to a new song, security took the stage and promptly escorted, i.e. kicked, him out of the place and moved on to the next one, meaning a new performer. A couple of media folks captured the odd scene and tweeted about the performance as it was happening, like Josh Rogin, staff writer for The Cable, who tweeted:
CNN’s senior director of public relations, Matt Dornic, had a similar account, saying:
I can respect Lupe exercising his right to speak out against social injustices, but he’s getting awfully close to that inappropriate Kanye West, I don’t know the time or the place for my rants line. He didn’t have to try to play the President like that during inaugural weekend. Next time he should probably just decline the invite, stay at home, and show his disapproval that way don’t you think?
Now that some time has passed, I’ve been able to wrestle with and digest more completely much of the discourse that Lupe Fiasco’s “B***h Bad” sparked this summer. The song, whose hook repeats “B***h bad, woman good, lady better,” had many a tongue wagging—particularly in the feminist community. The reality is that not many feminists aspire to be the stereotypical “lady.” I respect that choice. Further, I certainly have great respect and appreciation for anyone who vehemently challenges the system of male dominance and advocates for the equality of women. But here’s the thing, I am unapologetically a lady and while you may choose not to be, a lack of respect regarding my choice to be is kinda not cool.
I am a woman who takes care of herself, thinks for herself, and who looks for a partner rather than a master in men. I am independent and progressive and very much a lady. I reject the notion that my pursuit of ladyhood is an attempt to fit into antiquated ideals constructed to make men comfortable. I leave some things to the imagination when I get dressed. I don’t speak vulgarly. I cook; I clean; I decorate; I’m demure and unabashedly submissive when a worthy man is involved. I don’t do these things to make men comfortable—I do them because I like the way they make ME feel.
I feel swexy and empowered and womanly when I walk into a clean home with a soft décor that reflects my personality and a fragrance that excites the nose like perfume that lingers on flesh at the end of a long day. I get an exhilarating rush when I am in the kitchen experimenting with spices that titillate various areas of the tongue. While playing with and pairing different textures and tastes I am often caught up in ecstatic fits. And when there is a man who meets my needs, hears me, sees me, honors me, treats me like an equal and makes me feel safe, I want to cook his meals, rub his bald head, listen to his dreams and make him feel the way he makes me feel every day. I want to be gentle and not crass, to possess a quiet strength and a soft power; I’d rather purr than roar any day. These things make me feel the way I love to feel—they make ME comfortable.
To each its own. You may never want to be a “lady,” and that’s cool…for you. However, my deliberate actions to be don’t make me a Stepford Wife and don’t advance the agenda of patriarchy, and your rejection and denouncement of ladyhood doesn’t make you any more enlightened than me. I believe in the equality of women and have a vested interest in the annihilation of systems that seek to keep them subjugated, but at the end of the day how I choose to live out my womanliness is my business. I respect your choice, now respect mine, especially in the one space where all women should feel safe and accepted. As women, sometimes we have a way of tearing each other down…even when we aren’t consciously trying to.
We must do better. Shall we?
Sheena Bryant is a writer and blogger in Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @song_of_herself.
2006 was the year I graduated from high school and also the same year Kanye West released his hit single, “Touch the Sky.” Seeing that I was getting ready to enter my freshman year of college, Kanye’s aptly titled album Late Registration became the soundtrack to my pre-collegiate life. There was magic in that whole album; but I particularly bonded with “Touch the Sky” because when Kanye said, “You gon’ touch the sky, baby girl!” I knew he was talking to me. I studied that song. With its sample of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move on Up,” it became my inspiration. You may also remember that in this epic song there was a short verse from up and coming Chicago rapper, Lupe Fiasco. Laden with references to Japanese and American cartoons, I never fully grasped all Lupe was trying to say. I just knew he was introducing himself as a young rapper on the come up. He didn’t move me like Kanye but I dug his pacing and added his name to my rap radar.
When I got to school, I found myself surrounded by a whole bunch of what I called “Chicago Kids.” There were swarms of them ranting and raving about their love for their city, Harold’s Chicken and their sports teams. (Thank God the Bears lost the Superbowl to my hometown team, the Indianapolis Colts, or I would’ve never heard the end of it.) But the Chicago Kids weren’t completely obnoxious, truth be told they put me onto some good stuff, including Lupe Fiasco. The girl who would later become my best friend from college, asked me if I’d heard of Lupe. I wasn’t a connoisseur of his music like the Chicago kids were, but since he was on my favorite song and therefore, my rap radar, I knew his name. She let me listen to the first single, “Sunshine.” With lyrics like, “You’re the starry skies above me, won’t you please come down and hug me,” it was a love song, about a regular dude approaching a girl who just so happened to dig him too. It was beautiful and I was officially a Lupe fan. After that single, his first album Food and Liquor didn’t disappoint. I knew I dug it but I didn’t understand how deep it actually was, until I watched one of my guy friends rapping along to “He Say, She Say,” a song from the album.
A group of us were sitting around in the community lounge, pretending to study. My friend, who was on DJ duty, played Lupe’s new album. “He Say, She Say,” came on. Immediately the energy shifted from light and jovial to heavy and pensive. If you’re not familiar with the song, essentially it’s a very heart wrenching conversation between a mother, son and an absentee father. Both the mother and the son plead with the father to spend more time, explaining how his absence is having a negative effect on his academic and emotional progress.“To be a man, she try to make me understand that she my number one fan but it’s like you booing from the stands, you know the world is out to get me, why don’t you give me a chance?” I knew it was a rare piece of art when I first heard it and I loved it. But I was left utterly speechless as I watched one of our guy friends lose himself in the lyrics. For a dude who seemed to take very little seriously, he was in a trance rapping and bobbing, his eyes closed. I knew, with no words necessary, that he was singing his own story. And he didn’t even have to write it, Lupe did it for him. It was so real and so tragic that I gained an entirely new level of respect for Lupe. And with the release of each album, my love and respect continued to grow. There was The Cool with songs like “The Fighters,” “Go Baby,” “Gold Watch,” and the song that would become one of my theme songs, “Paris, Tokoyo,” (the original and the remix). That was late 2007, early 2008, the same year Barack Obama was elected President of the United States.
Then a few years later, things took a turn for the worst. By 2011, Lupe had some choice words for President Obama, calling him “the biggest terrorist” in one breath and then claiming he doesn’t get involved in politics in the next. When I first heard this, I couldn’t believe it. I had to look it up for myself because, though Lupe had always been very opinionated, this just wasn’t like him. But alas, it was true. His argument was that the United States’ policies inspire other countries to attack us. And if we didn’t have these policies other countries wouldn’t try to take us down. For someone who admittedly doesn’t follow politics, this seemed like a very haphazard and outrageous thing to say. And it didn’t stop there, earlier this year Lupe went on to say that President Obama is a “baby killer” because he’s authorized the use of “predator and reaper drones.” Lupe argues that the drones are killing innocent civilians and not just the terrorist targets the U.S. government is after. Lupe likened President Obama’s methods to a drug dealer: “Drug dealers can say the same thing. ‘I didn’t mean to kill all the people in the restaurant. I was just trying to get that one dude who killed my cousin. Just so happened that that little girl was there.’ Same thing.”
*Lupe Fiasco is an outspoken artist who trails the path for younger and even older rappers in the industry.
His witty tongue and courageous heart have won him the reputation of being a politically conscious artist, truly saying what he’s observed.
His most recent controversy stems from his thoughts about the president.
On a radio interview with Philly’s Power 99, he blatantly said Obama is a baby killer.
“One hand, you have someone who is a great speaker, but kills little children – our president,” he noted. “I’m talking about ordering a drone attack. Ordering drone attacks that go and kill mothers, innocent bystanders, children. Militants too, but the collateral damage. You’re responsible for that, too.”
Lupe was referring to the recent drone attacks on alleged Al Qeda forces. However, drones are increasingly being used more to enforce the law domestically.
The rapper isn’t fazed by the president’s intentions. Instead, he believes the president is responsible for all life taken by his hand.
Check out the rest of Lupe’s comment and how he compares the president’s actions to a drug dealer’s on Eurweb.com.
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By Tatianah Green
Chicago artist Lupe Fiasco has returned this summer to take on one of hip hop’s most controversial terms, but his new single “B**** Bad” is not the typical rap song we’ve been exposed to as of late.
One song that is you have probably heard blasted over the radio waves and Internet stations non-stop, “Ayy Ladies” by Lil Wayne’s artist Tyga featuring Travis Porter. The song’s hook and chorus calls the attention of “ladies” and then flips the script and proclaims “If you a top notch b**** let me hear you holler…” and then goes into misogynist instructions for the women who dance to this song. It’s one thing to be called “Miss Independent” (thanks Ne-Yo), and it’s another thing to be called a b****. But not just any b****, a top notch one at that because you make your own money and have your own car and home. I think Miss Independent had a better ring to it.
According to Urban Dictionary, a “bad b****” is a woman who is “Totally mentally gifted and usually also fine as hell” or “Beautiful and Determined.” On that same website, you remove “bad” and get an entirely different definition, perhaps the most popular being “a woman with a bad attitude; annoying and whining,” and the list goes on. Why in recent years is the title of b**** a good thing to be, especially a bad one? That I couldn’t tell you, but even female rappers like Nicki Minaj embrace the term openly in their music. It’s as if the music industry is selling a mentality that men and women are completely misunderstanding.
With kids and adults enjoying the summer weather in their cars, at parties, or listening at home, the question that comes to mind is what will come of those who listen to these types of lyrics? This is where Lupe’s new single comes in. Giving multiple scenarios, the lyricist with a reputation of going his own route and exposing societal ills in all categories, paints a picture of the long-term effects of children—both male and female—growing up listening to the aforementioned rap songs. In the first verse, Lupe describes what happens when a 4-year old boy listens to his mother sing along with a song claiming that she’s a bad b****.
“First he’s relating the word b**** with his mama, comma/And because she’s relating to herself, His most important source of help and mental health/ He may skew respect for dishonor” The chorus goes: “B**** bad, woman good, lady better, they misunderstood.”
In the second verse, he describes a scene of pre-teen girls watching rap videos online with that artist singing “All I want is a bad b****” in what seems all too similar too the sounds of rapper Drake, who has repeatedly sung and rapped about these kind of women. The girls see the video models’ image and that’s where the confusion comes in, according to Lupe.
“Now let’s say that they less concerned with him/And more with the video girl acquiescent to his whims/ Ah, the plot thickens/High heels, long hair, fat booty, slim/Reality check, I’m not trippin’/They don’t see a paid actress, just what makes a bad b****”
The philosophical rapper uses this song as what he refers to as a “psychological weapon” to open up the ears of those listening, especially women who have no choice but to try to block out these messages which the rap community seems all too keen on flooding the airwaves with. The illustration painted in the last verse is likely the most easily seen when we look at how black men and women relate to one another today. Lupe breaks down how these messages of what it is to be a “bad b****” cause a breakdown in relationships between men and women whose own definitions of the phrase influence the way they engage one another.
“He caught in the reality/she caught in the illusion…Bad mean good to her, She really nice and smart/But bad mean bad to him, B**** don’t play a part/But b**** still bad to her if he say it the wrong way/ But she think she a b****, what a double entendre.”
The lyrics are simple but expose the complication of the common trend of taking historically negative terms and trying to flip them into a term of endearment. Lupe Fiasco is known to speak his mind about the industry and society as a whole with songs like “Dumb it Down” and “Words I Never Said.” Now he’s trying to get listeners to think twice before they use the term “bad b****” again. Can this song garner the same popularity as the slew of songs out there that perpetuate the “bad b****” meme? We shall see.
Check out the song below. What do you think about Lupe’s message?
Tatianah Green is a writer and blogger from Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @tfortrendsetta
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For people like myself who really love music debates, the “conscious rapper” topic is one that tends to get people all riled up. More often than not, someone’s favorite rapper will get talked about in a negative light and come under fire for their actions not always living up to their words. I’ve learned to not have any real beliefs in the idea of the “conscious” rapper because when you do, you’re also going to get that human side that you only thought belongs to the “gangsta” rapper. I don’t believe many of the complaints about the “high and mighty conscious rappers” are warranted. I don’t think it’s right to expect them to ALWAYS talk about the plight of black people or to be positive every second of the day. Then again, in life you’re often forced to take sides. Anyway, enough rambling – just take a look at a few of the conscious rappers and feel free to let me know what you think (I’m also on Twitter…DrennaB).
Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing protest that began September 17 2011 in New York City’s Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street financial district. The protest’s purpose is to take a stand against social and economic inequality, rising unemployment, corruption, high unemployment, greed, corruption, and the influence of large corporations, particularly from the financial services sector, on the government. The demonstrators use the slogan: ‘We are the 99 per cent’, which refers to the growing difference in wealth between the wealthiest 1 per cent and the rest of the population. However, some of the top millionaires and celebrities in the world are also taking stand, even though they tend to fit in with the 1%. Check out who out of the 1% is fighting back and supporting the protests.
From the days of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message,” hip hop has been a tool for folks to express their views on society’s ills, from poverty to politics. As hip-hop has gone from a musical genre to a culture, the number of rappers speaking their minds has increased tremendously, as have the levels of influence these folks have over their audiences. Is this a good thing though? Check out some of the most loudly political rappers and decide who gets your vote.