Lupe Fiasco's Inspirations
The rapper talked to MTV News about songs, people and places that have influenced his music
When MTV spoke to Lupe Fiasco for a special online interview we thought wed explore the influences and inspirations behind his excellent second album The Cool.
See what the Chicago MC revealed below
The Concept Album:
"I took that idea from a song I did on the last album (Food and Liquor) called The Cool its about someone who comes back from the grave. I had to put him in a story line because Im a writer first- rapper second. I used the characters as vessels for things I couldnt talk about (as myself). It was better for stuff to come from the first person."
"When ever I play with the story I imagine it as animation as Japanese anime or like The Matrix. The Game (character) is inspired by Frankenstein and a lot of the sub-stories some from watching a lot of psychological thrillers and Steven King films."
The Cool Continues:
"This gives you more things to do out side of the album with marketing and presentation. I was more inspired by movies than other music when coming up with these characters and the stories. Now I can do toys- Its a creative franchise as well as an album"
"As a teen I listened to Nas, a lot of West Coast rappers like Snoop Dogg-then it was Wu Tang and Mobb Deep. It hasnt changed. I listen to a bit of everybody on the hip hop side. Now I listen to stuff I missed when I was growing up in the hood like techno and rock."
"I met Kanye before he was famous so I watched him become a celebrity. We are jumping off with CRS (Lupe/Pharrel and Kanyes group) on the Glow In The Dark tour in the US. Theres more coming! Jay-Z was one of the earliest people I got to meet and do business with. It was a shock to see that Jay-Z answered his own door! I knocked on the doorand it was him. I met Snoop (who features on his track High Definition) at a show for Pharrell (Williams- another friend) and it was a weird situation. He was driving a truck with Warren G in the passenger seat and called me over. That was so cool " I was starstruck."
"Im a big Thom Yorke fan more than a Radiohead fan. I was listening to the radio and heard The Eraser (which CRS remixed as US Placers) so I went back and got all his stuff.
I love Unkle too. I was working closely with some of James Lavelles associates and I was a fan so I reached out. I said I want to do a song with Unkle and I have (Hello Goodbye on The Cool).
From the UK I like Sway and Estelle up to people like Ian Brown. Im a big Ian Brown fan- FEAR is one of my favourite songs of all time. I always find myself discovering new rock or techno when Im in the UK."