Lupe Fiasco has been kinda mum on the interviews leading up to Tetsuo & Youth, already up for release 2 days from now, January 20th. He hasn’t been mum on Twitter, if you’ve been following, but he also recently removed himself from there… and it looks like for good.
So naturally, this interview with Billboard is an intriguing read into the mindset of Lupe who offers a bleek outlook on his relevancy in hip hop. The story at the very end of the interview is along those lines too, but below is an excerpt of the beginning and contains the most notable quotable.
Is Tetsuo & Youth a good entry point to your music for new fans?
Not really. It’s an interesting album because it’s a transition. I’m much more mature in my representation in public, in the sense of I’m not as relevant as I was before. It’s kind of that natural irrelevancy that occurs with all artists. I think I had my peak and now I am coming down in relevancy. It’s not a sad thing for me.
I don’t want to be relevant today. I don’t want to be the go-to guy for the club song or to speak on all the dumb shit that’s going around. I’m happy being that somewhat sophisticated, overly deep weird guy making powerful music — but just two or three degrees away from the center of attention. There is a new generation speaking to a new generation, so you have a Kendrick Lamar and a J. Cole and the other people who are the new Lupes. I don’t have the same lingo. I don’t sip lean or smoke weed. I can’t compete with a Wiz Khalifa for the attention of a 12-year old.
Perhaps I’m too close to it, but I think Lupe’s relevancy is still quite large. He’s widely considered one of the best lyricists and rappers in the game and still has a large cult-like following. Plus, from my first impressions of Tetsuo & Youth, Lupe has another strong album that will only cement his status as one of said best lyricists. Listen to one more of the leaks that has been going around, “Mural”, for one reason why. Or perhaps 8 minutes of reason why.