Lupe Fiasco caused quite a stir on the Internet last night when he released his first single "Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)." The track expected to land on his next project Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Part I and Part II didn’t sit well with legendary producer Pete Rock. Last night, he communicated over Twitter about his disapproval of the song, which uses the Tom Scott sample most recognizable from "T.R.O.Y.," the hip-hop classic by Pete Rock & CL Smooth.
In a conference call with Atlantic Records, Lupe delved into the controversial sample, his new album, and more. Check out some excerpts below.
On the Pete Rock sample:
“All the credit goes to my partner and manager Chill, he just felt like it was time to bring back a joint… Go back and take one of the iconic records of Hip Hop and put a new spin on it and put it back out there. I spit on it a couple times before, some mixtape stuff back in the day, Chill felt it needed a bigger look than that.”
On the features for his album:
"It’s Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Part I. Part I, which “Freedom Ain’t Free” is the single off of, is coming in the next few months. It really ain’t got no features on there. It got a few people on the hooks and stuff like that, but no other real features other than myself. But that’s part one. It’s a double album. We’re probably 80% finished with part 2, which is going to come out a little later. It’s not finalized. You don’t know who’s going to be on it… Part 1 is done and there ain’t gonna be any features on there, but part 2, it maybe somebody coming at the last inning to drop a verse. We’ll see.”
On the album being an interpretation of America:
“The album is meant to be my interpretation of America. Politics, society, religion, class, race, food, all across the board. It was only right that we had to have a song that was a collage of that so people got it from the door that all these different things, topics that make up America, that make us Americans, the things that influence us and the things that we influence. You needed that first record to be the embodiment of that whole piece, the whole direction that we’re going in. This record is a collage, but it’s a more like an introduction. As you get into the album, as we release new records, and hopefully we’ll release the album in a few months, you’ll see that we focus on particular issues on particular songs. We will expand on something that may have came up in the second verse of “Freedom Ain’t Free." There will be a whole song that speaks about this particular relationship in American society, or this particular phenomenon in American society, so people can get a good direction of where the album is going. You get it all in the first joint. But it’s not necessarily angry. The whole record’s not angry. It’s not coming from an angry place, it’s coming from a serious place.”