By Alvin Blanco
Lupe Fiasco fans are a dedicated bunch. One Fiasco advocate in particular, 17 year-old New Jersey resident Matthew La Corte, is organizing a protest he hopes will persuade Fiasco’s label home, Atlantic Records, to release his much delayed third album, Lasers.
The Village Voice interviewed the high-school senior who is organizing a protest on October 15 at the door of Atlantic Records. Seems like the biggest riff the teen has with the company is their relative silence on shelving Fiasco’s album despite a petition that now has 30,000 names asking for a release date.
“I think many of us feel personally disrespected that they really have blatantly just been completely silent on this issue—that’s basically what started this whole thing,” said La Corte.
La Corte’s’ advocacy of Fiasco even by the highest of standards is pretty Stan’ish. This is revealed when asked why he’s riding for Lupe, who isn’t the first or last artist that’s going to have his album stuck in major label purgatory.
“He’s a rapper but he’s also a social advocate, he’s a political activist,” said La Cortes. “He does things that really break the mold of that traditional rapper, and I think that’s what draws a lot of people to his music is that here’s a guy who is really talking about some of the most major issues that a lot of people feel, and that’s why a lot of people can relate to him.”
Since he isn’t even of voting age, we’ll let La Corte slide on the Lupe fiasco as a messiah hyperbole. But the kid’s reasoning as to why the Chicago rapper’s music is important—mainly, providing balance to a commercial hip-hop genre that’s littered with over promoted, blatantly sexist and vapid party music—is sound.
“So what idea is Atlantic Records putting out? That it’s okay to bring our children up with this music that’s all about me going out and partying tonight?” he asked. “Is that really what we’re all looking for? … I think there’s a lot of other things that rappers can be expressing, and the things that are on the radio are really do not reflect what this society is all about. …That’s why there’s so much push behind Lupe, because he’s really much more than just a rapper from Chicago. He represents a generation, and a movement.”
But the real kicker of the story is that when La Corte is asked if he purchased Lupe Fiasco’s first two albums, 2006’s Food & Liquor and 2007’s The Cool, his answer?
“No. I’ll be honest—I did not buy the records, I just listened to them over the internet,” admitted La Corte.
Besides figuring out what to do with this Lupe Fiasco situation, Atlantic Records and the music industry as a whole, needs to re-think their business plan if someone willing to organize a protest on an artist’s behalf, didn’t even bother dropping coin on their music.