Lupe Fiasco isn't one of those rappers spitting verses of living the affluent life, popping bottles in clubs and parading around with voluptuous women. The lyrics in his songs have more meaning -- issues with government, crime and war among them -- and just as he cares about sending a message to each of his listeners, he also cares about the people he came up with in his Chicago community.
The 30-year-old MC, born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, visited "RapFix Live" Wednesday (July 26), where he spoke with host Sway Calloway about his forthcoming LP, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Part 1 and a new song, "Lamborghini Angels." Yet the mood during the interview turned somber when Sway showed Lupe a six-year-old clip of MTV's "My Block," featuring the lyricist, which caused him to break down in tears after seeing many friends -- or "ghosts" as he called them -- who had since been killed or incarcerated.
Visibly and emotionally effected by the visuals of his fallen friends, Lupe took a moment to compose himself before letting viewers in on a harsh reality. "Chicago's the murder capital," he said. "The dudes in that video are in prison, a couple of fed cases, and then there's ghosts. You see people that, that ain't there."
"Nothing's changed," he continued. "Some of those kids ain't gonna make it out of there. You feel so helpless. That was me, talking to me six years ago."
The "Around My Way (Freedom Ain't Free)" creator reflected on watching himself as a 24-year-old onscreen and remembering the words his parents would continuously repeat to him.
"For me to see myself six years ago, surrounded by people that's not even here, reppin' the 'hood, doin' what they do, that never left. It's a sober thing to me," he admitted. "It's sobering because you know your father was right, your mother was right.
"You gotta get out. Stick to what you know and get out. Because if you stay here, you gonna die, and you not gonna die for anything heroic, you not gonna die for anything meaningful. You gonna die for something that is worthless and nobody is gonna remember your name."
Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Part 1 is due later this year.