Lupe Fiasco has a grade for how he feels the hip-hop community handled the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, and it doesn’t look good.
Amid the release of his latest EP, HOUSE, the Chicago-born rapper did an interview with Vulture where he was asked about his thoughts on the hip-hop community’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The wordsmith felt that not enough people took the crisis seriously enough when the outbreak first started in the U.S.
“To be honest, if you have to grade it, I’ll give it a C-minus. There’s certain folks in the hip-hop space who come from a place of rebelliousness, not trusting the system. [People] ain’t just saying ‘F**k the police.’ I’m saying ‘F**k the police’ as an example of just a general complex of their worldview. They really mean it,” the Grammy-nominated rapper pointed out.
He continued, “I don’t want to say it’s their fault, but when it comes to COVID, when it comes to understanding epidemiology and biology and the nature of viruses and how they work, and the difference between having something that’s been put through a clinical trial versus something that’s just a folkloric type of medicinal treatment? There’s people who just don’t understand that s**t. You got m**erf***ers that dropped out of high school, and we expect them to be trusting the epidemiologists on TV telling them about masks.”
Though, Lupe said that more and more people in hip-hop circles are starting to take the pandemic more seriously now following the recent diagnoses of Scarface, Styles P, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Slim Thug, who all came forward with harrowing accounts of battling the virus.
“Other homies who are super-close to me that haven’t said it publicly, but they call me, like, ‘Yeah, I got COVID, bro. I’m f**ked up. These are people I’ve done records with, and now it’s real for them,” he said. “I think when Scarface caught it, and when Slim Thug caught it, it was like, Oh s**t, the OGs can catch it? And, unfortunately, Fred the Godson passed away, rest in peace. So we had figures in the community [affected by it], and I think there’s certain people who silently are just turning a corner, like, “This s**t is real.’
Lupe believes these events drove home the seriousness of the deadly virus.
“As much as you don’t trust the government, when your grandma catches it, when I catch it, when one of our favorite rappers catches it, we have to at least [face] certain facts,” Lupe said. “When it comes to a virus in the world that is actively killing people, we’ve got to be a little bit more careful with what we say.”
For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
(Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images)