It's no secret that Lupe Fiasco doesn't like Atlantic Records, his label home for almost a decade.
Fiasco said that the label treats him like a "third-class citizen" because he wouldn't commit to a 360 deal. "I can't wait to get off," he said in an interview.
"Even with that said," Lupe continued, "I'm coming with the biggest records of my career over these next two albums, just to set myself up for my post-Atlantic Records career. I've had a very interesting run for various reasons, I don't even think about it anymore... I rock with my homies at the label, who are my homies, but that executive level don't f--- with your boy too heavy, and it's good. It is what it is."
Back when he signed to Atlantic, all-encompassing deals weren't as popular, Lupe explained. Not allowing the label to "eat" off his merchandising, publishing and touring profits had its consequences. "I paid for that," he revealed. "They tried to negotiate it with me and the money wasn't right, and we were like, 'nah,' and then they were like, 'if you don't sign this 360 deal we can't guarantee we gon' promote your records above a Wiz Khalifa, or B.o.B., you gon' be down in the basement.' I was like, 'aight, cool.' We just roll with it and then we come with the hits, we come with our Grammy nominations, we just keep it going."
For what it's worth, Fiasco has prevailed amid the label strife, and said that he's thankful for his strong fan base. Tetsuo & Youth, his fifth studio album, is now slated for release sometime this year.
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(Photo: Reid Rolls/Atlantic Records)