He says the project was "almost like a compilation of old-ass songs we had kinda just laying around."
Lupe Fiasco has had a turbulent relationship with Atlantic Records since the release of his 2011 album L.A.S.E.R.S., and at a recent performance, he was finally able to speak candidly about his relationship with the label.
DJ Booth points to a speech from a show in Seattle, WA where the Chicago rapper revealed that while fans believed 2015's Tetsuo & Youth was his final project for the label, his 2017 release DROGAS Light was also made with the intention of fulfilling his Atlantic contract. "It was in both worlds," he said. "The label still getting paid, and the other foot was independent, where they wasn't gonna do shit..." Lupe explained that for this reason, he decided against giving the label his best work and instead made what was "almost like a compilation of old-ass songs we had kinda just laying around."
In fact, Lupe suggested that not only was DROGAS Light an intentionally less-than-perfect project, but that he has not put 100% effort into an Atlantic-released album since L.A.S.E.R.S.
"Around like L.A.S.E.R.S., I knew there was gonna be some bullshit," he said of his Atlantic deal. "So I was like, you know what, I will never, ever, ever, as long as I'm on this label, give this label my heart, like what I really believe. So, since L.A.S.E.R.S., I've never really put my all into a project because I felt Atlantic didn't deserve the shit. So I took an L."
Lupe also had some good news to share. Now that he is entirely done with Atlantic, his next project will be the first that will not be compromised by his issues with the label.
"DROGAS Wave, which is the next album after DROGAS Light, you'll get like -- I ain't even gonna talk about this shit," he said. "Just trust me. I'm not even saying this to sell records and get you all hyped up. I've heard shit. Shit is amazing. Shit is gonna be fucking crazy. From DROGAS Wave on, you'll be getting the fully complex, fully involved Lupe Fiasco. And the best thing about it is it's already done."
Watch Lupe's full address above. Listen to "Kneelin' On Needles, a song expected to appear on DROGAS Wave.