Lupe Fiasco is a rapper's rapper. He might not be at the forefront of the mainstream, but his hit-making ability and lyrical prowess have has generated respect from everyone including the current face of hip-hop.
Although he's the king of the subliminal shot, Drake has never shied away from telling fans who he admires. When referencing his longevity on "5AM in Toronto," Drizzy alluded to Lupe Fiasco.
"It's funny when you think a nigga blew up after Lupe," Drake raps. "Niggas treat me like I've been here for ten/Some niggas been here for a couple, never been here again."
Some people took this as a slight, but Lupe knows bars can be cryptic so he tells Genius' Rob Markman that this could mean anything.
"I don't think he said that," Lupe said at around the interview's 36-minute mark. "I don't know. He's never confirmed that. He's never said anything about that and people always bring to me and make it a thing. And I kinda played into it generally because I ain't really know but I still don't think that's what he said."
Lupe goes on to explain that he's been in rap since the early 2000s. As a result, he's rubbed shoulders with people like Drake and they have always shown him respect.
"I can just tell you that Drake has a lot of respect for me and I have a lot of respect for Drake," Lupe continues. "The majority of the rappers have a respect for me."
Fiasco feels like this longevity will only help him grow as a rapper. He explained to Markman that age only helps rappers perfect their story. As a result, he revealed that he's hoping to link up with Nas for an EP.
"That's an open secret," Lupe said about the potential project. "There's certain people—even the homies that know that they'll never get a Lupe verse—that are like 'We'll give you a pass, if it's Nas.' ... Me and Nas were in the studio and we were just talking like—it was there to be had if we want to do it."
Watch Lupe Fiasco's full conversation with Genius above.