Lupe Fiasco stakes his claim as a hip-hop philosopher.
In a sense, the Migos have become the face of hip-hop today, wasting no opportunity to declare the scope of their influence. During a recent appearance on Hot 97, Offset opened up about the current state of hip-hop, citing his group's importance to hip-hop's commercial dominance. "If you're an older artist, you should be thanking us. Kissing our feet," explains Offset, to Ebro and Rosenberg.
"Not just the Migos. I'm not gon' do that. How we turned the culture of music, number one. Hip-Hop. In life, hip-hop has never been the number one genre, ever...Right now, when you go to Spotify, you're not seeing the other genres. Pop, country...We used to be number thirty. Now we'll be number one fast...You should salute us. We made this bigger than what it was. You fought for it, we respecting ya'll."
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The comments were met with an expected dose of outrage, with many feeling like Offset was being dismissive, despite his own stated intentions; after all, we've already seen him square off with a few noted veterans, including Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, who ultimately paved the way for the "Migos flow." Amidst the fallout, Lupe Fiasco took to Instagram to pen his own response to Offset's claim, issuing a lengthy and introspective reflection.
"The only visceral problem with brother offsets statement is the use of the cliche “kissing feet”," states Lupe. "That’s not a sign of respect that’s an act of subjugation of something lower to something higher and as Busta Rhymes told me when it comes to rap there are no classes, or superiors vs inferiors. We are all a team. Each with individual attributes that add their special skill set and energy to the whole."
He continues, explaining that sales and commercial success are but one element of the equation:
Streaming and selling records is only a part of the project that is hip hop. It’s a great feeling and milestone to sell a million records and be celebrated for that achievement. But it is just as great to be an amazing lyricist respected by thousands or just 1 for your abilities to craft amazing pieces of communication that can operate to influence society as a whole not just exclusively on a dance floor. Hip hop got its RESPECT from rappers who spoke truth to power and struck fear in the comfort zones of oppression and inspired folks to take a look at their surroundings, analyze and OVERCOME.
For more from Lupe Fiasco, check out his entire statement below, via Instagram. For whatever reason, the tension between "old heads" and "new heads" seems to linger on. Hopefully, reflections such as Lu's can help bridge the gap during moments of separation. As of now, Offset has yet to respond.