Lupe Fiasco Announces New Album 'Samurai,' Releases Video as Samurai Culture Regains Popularity

Lupe’s well-timed ninth studio album arrives June 28.

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New music from Lupe Fiasco is on the way.

The rapper announced that his ninth studio album, Samurai, will arrive on June 28th under his 1st & 15th label. He simultaneously released the work's titular track on Friday.

“The word ‘samurai’ means to serve,” said Lupe in a press release. “My relationship to that word has always meant that you need to be at the service of other people, either in the overall community, or in this instance, the rap community at large that I’ve been a part of for years."

The album consists of eight tracks, produced entirely by his long-time collaborator Soundtrakk, the press release also notes. Samurai marks the duo's second full album collaboration after 2022’s Drill Music in Zion and their first studio session with manager Charles “Chill” Patton since his release from prison last year. The project marks the first time the three creatives have been in the studio together since Lupe’s The Cool album in 2007.

Samurai also aims to be the 42-year-old rapper’s most personal album to date.

“I sometimes get tagged by my fans as not doing personal records, but I always tell people there's me in there if you listen closely enough,” said Lupe. 

“This album is one of my more personal records to date. It's not a full biography, but my personal experiences are tied up in all of my music. A lot of the records are me. Some are from the POV of a character. and some are me. The album weaves things from my life as an artist, touching on things other artists go through.”

Fiasco was most recently seen performing a set at the Heineken House at the 2024 Coachella Music Festival, where he was joined by surprise guest Tyler, the Creator. The two artists ended up performing “Paris, Tokyo” together.

Tyler, The Creator and Lupe Fiasco performing “Paris, Tokyo” together at #Coachella

— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) April 16, 2024
Twitter: @ComplexMusic

Samurai seems to be arriving at a time where interest in samurai culture is seeing a resurgence in western media. As noted by IGN’s Matt Purslow, Yasuke, Japan’s first Black samurai, became Assassin’s Creed’s first playable protagonist based on a real historical figure.

On Thursday, FX and Hulu announced plans to develop two more seasons of the historical drama Shōgun, which was initially intended as a limited series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. After wrapping up its first 10-episode season in April, Shōgun reportedly became FX’s most-watched show in the history of the channel based on global hours streamed.

THR also notes that Shōgun was ranked as the most expensive scripted series FX has produced in its history.

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