Lupe Fiasco Says He’s Quitting Music After Getting Called Out For Anti-Semitic Lyric

Chicago spitter Lupe Fiasco hasn’t had the easiest of careers. Ever since his debut Food & Liquor he’s struggled with how much of his artistic integrity he’s had to give up to be commercially successful in the rap game. In 2010, his fans had to protest outside of Atlantic Records’ Midtown Manhattan offices for his album Lasers to be released in 2011 after a mix of sample clearance issues and rumors of lyric edits caused delays. Fiasco has hinted at retiring many times throughout his career, as it seems he’s had a hard time coping with everything that comes along with making music.

Fiasco had found some renewed vigor for making music recently. He announced he would be making three albums in quick succession — Drogas Light, Drogas, and Skulls — that would come early next year. Just yesterday he released a freestyle over J. Cole’s “Everybody Dies” called “N.E.R.D..”

The freestyle featured this line: “Artist gettin’ robbed for their publishing / By dirty Jewish execs that think his alms from the covenant.” DJBooth published an article entitled “Lupe Fiasco’s Anti-Semitic Lyrics In ‘N.E.R.D.’ Are Dangerous,” and Fiasco responded flippantly on Twitter with, “Oh please. Fuck outta here” before fielding further criticism. The Chicago rapper has since made his Twitter private after one last tweet which said: “I get the hint God. Yo Lupe fans it’s been fun and I hope you’ve had fun. I’m not releasing any more music. Albums cancelled.”

Lupe Tweet

Hopefully it will be another false alarm, but it seems he’s serious this time. Fiasco has always been underrated, and it would be sad to see him stop doing what he loves, but if he does actually quit, Chicago hip-hop is in plenty of good hands. I guess he can work on winning that Nobel Prize like he said on Saba’s Bucket List Project. Either way, Fiasco would be wise to listen to his critics and apologize for the anti-semitic lyric.

UPDATE: Pitchfork reports that Fiasco is now fighting with Anti-Defamation League over his controversial lines from “N.E.R.D.” The Anti-Defamation League has released a statement indicting the Chicago rapper for the song. The statement notes that his subsequent tweets defending the line “clearly [indicate] that Fiasco is either unaware or unconcerned with the impact of his offensive statement.” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt continued:

The lyrics about artists being robbed by “dirty Jewish execs” are offensive. These lyrics reinforce the anti-Semitic myth of Jewish control of the music industry, a stereotype that has been exploited in recent years by well-known hatemongers. It is irresponsible for a recording artist to perpetuate the hateful anti-Semitic stereotype of the “greedy Jew.” Even if Lupe Fiasco has concerns about exploitation of his artistic output, it’s deplorable to stigmatize an entire group in response. Fiasco has a well-earned reputation as a highly respected hip-hop artist. At a time when there are significant divisions across the country, we are disappointed that he has not chosen to use his platform and voice to promote a more inclusive message.

Fiasco has since made his Twitter account public again and responded to Greenblatt’s statement. The two then engaged in a back-and-forth on Twitter:

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