[Opinion] The Summer Of Fiasco: The Curious Case Of Wasalu Muhammad Jaco's Self-Righteousness
Ever since Lupe Fiasco spun Kanye West‘s Grammy winning “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” into a tune to raise awareness about conflict diamonds, the Chicago rapper has managed to somehow become one of the most polarizing figures in all of hip-hop. A lyrical dynamo with a penchant for substance, Fiasco takes great pride in challenging the status quo with rhymes about everything from poor nutrition (“Gotta Eat”) to the misconceptions of Islam in America (“American Terrorist”). His lifestyle parallels his music as he is involved in multiple philanthropic efforts and can be seen from time to time on news shows offering his anti-establishment views that have drawn the ire of conservatives and liberals alike. Often too outspoken for his own good, Fiasco has found himself at odds with his label, the government, magazines and bloggers, just to name a few.
Most recently, Fiasco has been grinding his battle worn axe with SPIN Magazine for reducing his video for “Bitch Bad” as an exercise in condescending self-righteous lecture that’s bleeds of a Tipper Gore tone.
That’s harsh. But Fiasco’s frantic #BoycottSpinMagazine Twitter rant because he was “publicly disrespected” were met with an even harsher eye roll accompanied by a groan by the hip hop community. It’s as if the entire community bellowed “do you want some cheese with that wine?” all at the same time.
On some level, they are right. Lupe does complain a lot. But that doesn’t mean his message does not bear any significance.
It reminds me of a professional wrestler who, at this time last year, single-handedly rejuvenated the flailing wrestling business by cutting a promo that pulled the curtain back on the industry. What started out as bellyaching about being respected and not getting his just due turned into a glorious moment that wrestling fans will never forget. If you’re not a wrestling fan, this might go over your head. But follow me for a minute.
Lupe Fiasco is to the hip hop industry as CM Punk is to professional wrestling. And before you give me the side-eye, keep in mind that hip hop is often likened to the professional wrestling industry because of its manufactured stars and drama. So my parallel won’t be too farfetched.
CM Punk currently totes the WWE Championship but hasn’t headlined a pay per view event since last Summer. What gives? How are you recognized amongst die hard wrestling fans as arguably the best pure wrestler and talker in the business but play second fiddle despite carrying the company’s most cherished title? It’s pretty simply actually. It’s just like how Lupe Fiasco is recognized amongst die hard hip hop fans as one of the best lyricists in the game but can’t seem to get past the likes of Rick Ross, 2 Chainz and the Waka Flocka‘s of the game in terms of popularity. You’ll hear more people recite ‘I think I’m Big Meech, Larry Hoover, whippin’ work, hallelujah” than “Bitch bad, woman good, lady better, they misunderstood.”
Think about that for a minute and revert back to my earlier piece about Rick Ross to put Lupe’s frustration into perspective.