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Lupe Fiasco Recalls Trying To Gain Ownership Of His Masters From Atlantic Records

“From that point forward I knew my career was over.”

Lupe Fiasco’s contentious relationship with Atlantic Records finally came to an end in 2015 with the release of Testuo & Youth, but the Chicago rapper still has war stories from his time at the label. In a series of post-Grammys tweets (which Genius has edited for clarity), Lupe opened up about his attempts to regain control of his masters, and dealing with former Warner Music Group executive Lyor Cohen.

“LoI once asked Lyor for my masters in exchange for signing a 360 deal and he said, ‘Do I want them like in a suitcase to carry around?’” Lupe revealed on Twitter. “A greatest hit from among all the other wild shit some of these white record execs have said 2 me with a straight face in private… He then followed it up with, ‘If you don’t sign it I cant guarantee we are still gonna promote your albums.’ From that point forward I knew my career was over lol.”

Lupe revealed that this conversation happened right around when his sophomore album, The Cool, went Gold in 2008. The label wouldn’t release another Lupe project until Lasers in 2011, which came after a series of aggressive and public fights with his record label.

“I don’t know if he was shocked that I knew the 360 Program Atlantic had didn’t really add any value to an artist at the time and the only real equity was the music IP (masters) because the million dollar advances were just instant debt or what. It was surreal,” Lupe recalled about the conversation with Cohen, revealing that he refused to sign the deal.

“I didn’t sign it. I’m not ignorant at all. I started my first business at 19,” he said. “Plus the music business at least what I went through at Atlantic, wasn’t a business it was damn near a mob cartel. Real grimey Gangsta shit. I had $ so i didn’t really care. I was speaking on other artists.”

He also explained that he considered opting out of releasing anymore music after The Cool:

Lupe’s most recent album, DROGAS WAVE, dropped in September 2018. The rapper has openly discussed retirement several times, but continues to release new music.

Catch up on all the lyrics to Lupe Fiasco’s biggest songs on Genius now.

Athena Chu | Imitatieleren enkellaarsjes | hits ete