By: A.J. Niles
Lupe Fiasco and his love for his native south side Chicago neighborhood is something he has publicly expressed since his 2006 “Food & Liquor” debut. So it is of no surprise that the unfortunate plague of violence that has stricken the south and west sides of Chicago for the past few years strikes a tough nerve for Lupe. During a recent episode of MTV’s Rap Fix Live, Lupe was reduced to tears after seeing people in a clip shot six years ago in his old neighborhood that are now deceased.
Rob Markman for MTV writes:
On Wednesday’s (July 25) episode of “RapFix Live,” host Sway Calloway played back a six-year-old clip of the MTV show “My Block,” on which Lupe played tour guide by taking our cameras through his native Chicago. But the trip down memory lane proved to be too much for Lu, who started to cry while watching the footage.
“It’s some of them dudes is dead,” Lupe said after the clip rolled, taking several moments to collect himself.
It was a tense and emotional moment because in the clip, there was footage of Fiasco’s old friends, some of whom are in dire straits today.
“Chicago’s the murder capital. The dudes in that video are in prison, a couple of fed cases, and then there’s ghosts. You see people that, that ain’t there,” he said sobbing, hiding his tears behind his round-rimmed shades.
The lyricist, who at first was at a loss for words, exhausted his tears and delivered a heartfelt message to the inner-city youth: “You gotta get out. Stick to what you know and get out. Because if you stay here, you gonna die, and you not gonna die for anything heroic, you not gonna die for anything meaningful. You gonna die for something that is worthless and nobody is gonna remember your name.”
The Violence in Chicago this summer are reaching levels not seen since the late 1980’s through the early 1990’s. As it currently stands, Chicago has seen 135 murders since the month of May, 37 murders in July alone according to Red Eye Chicago and hundreds more have been wounded by gunshots during the same time period. With these stats, It is not hard to see how Lupe broke down and cried for his friends shot and killed. The saddest part in all of this is that hundreds of more tears have been shed by others in Chicago for the same reasons. Hopefully this violence will slow down and end soon.
Lupe Fiasco’s next album The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1 will be released September 25th, 2012.
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