Lupe Fiasco: "There are songs on Tetsuo & Youth that have five narratives at the same time"!

Lupe recently talked to Billboard for an interview (which he subsequently called his last interview ever) and here is what he had to say about Tetsuo & Youth:
BB: Can you explain the meaning behind "Deliver"?
LF: A song like "Deliver" is the autobiography of a myth in the hood. You don't really recognize it until you are there. The hood doesn't really have the basic amenities that things that aren't the hood has. The pizza man might have two or three thoughts before he comes to your neighborhood. The pizza man might pull up, see your building and then keep driving. It's almost like a myth. Does that really happen? Does the pizza man really not come to the hood? In some cases it's true. In some places it's probably more of a story. One of the interesting things when we put the record out was that people were posting news stories about pizza men getting killed. There are some very serious reasons as to why. But it also speaks to the nature of those places like the places I grew up in, West Side of Chicago, South Side of Chicago. It's things like that, that are those odd aspects of the hood that don't really get a lot of attention like all drug dealers. But they have effects too.

BB: This is a Lupe Fiasco song after all, of course the pizza man must represent something other than just a pizza man.
LF: [Laughs] It's interesting you would say that. As an artist, me doing music, or any artist, you do it for so long, you start to become -- I won't call myself a master but you become very proficient in being able to structure things in subtle but powerful ways. Take a song like "Deliver" and the pizza man. It's kind of also saying 'peace of man' like 'peace of man don't come here no more.' Once you look at it from that perspective, it changes the dynamic of the song. We kind of did something like that on "He Said, She Said," which was about the single mother and single parent talking to this father and they used the exact same verse but kind of switched the pronouns around, but it was the exact same thing but it came from two different sources.

It's almost like the inverse of four, five albums later, you learn that switching out one word changes the dynamic of the entire song, and pizza becomes a metaphor for something else and the words become double entendre and even triple entendre. From an artistic level of learning how to work with words and understanding words, "Deliver" is like the most prominent example because that's the record that's out now, but when you get into the rest of the body of the album, it's even deeper. It's taken to extremes on certain songs where it kind of takes 10, 15, 20 listens to really pick up on what the song is saying. That's why you get songs like "Deliver" first. "Deliver" is, like, the simplest song on the album. It's somewhat of a straight narrative. There are songs on the album that have five narratives at the same time.

Click HERE to read the full interview where he speaks about his relevancy, painting, quitting Twitter, Bobby Shmurda, leaving Atlantic, Spotify, and his music being taught in schools!


  1. This was a really nice interview- I feel like lots of these interviews ask really superficial questions, but not this one

  2. Sounds like Lupe was to really get off the grid...�� passion about music Anymore. Btw if Lupe charged $19.99 for a CD it still would be a deal.

  3. oh man...Lupe, for what it's worth I haven't given up on ya buddy!

  4. I'm SO glad the Atlantic story is over... Damn it, I never thought I'd see the end of it.

  5. I'm actually going to miss Lupe being with Atlantic because now that he's gone, he's not going to make much music anymore since his passion for it is pretty much gone but I'm glad that he is gone because his music won't be affected by the label, really wish that Lupe's albums sold better, he probably wouldn't have had so much trouble with Atlantic and his music would have been more relevant to people, salute to you Lupe.

    1. Idk though, we know of Skulls, Japanese Cartoon, Black Vietnam. And with Atlantic not there to stop those, who knows what could happen. Let's just hope he's happy though. :)

  6. Really impressed the album hasn't leaked yet. I mean I have bought every album including his last two offerings, twice. But still, I need that jawn now!

  7. Idk where to put this soooo I'll just place this here...

    My breakdown of Tetsuo and Youth tracklist. Something I'm doing to stop myself from listening to the leak (just two more days, alhamdulillah for that preorder)! But yeah just what I think each track means an represents. Obvs since its Tetsuo Season which is what I'm taking as a year sorta thing the Seasons that take place are scattered throughout the album and the track inbetween are occurrences during those seasons. I think the title besides it being cool like Lu mentioned kind of add to the story at large here. Tetsuo was a BA.MF and the entire story of Akira was like this dark world and he went nuts an was consumed by the world an just killed ppl. (I hated Tetsuo he was a lil bitch but that's neither here nor there) YOUTH is a very important aspect of this album and title because it's a year or years of our youth and us (cuz we are young an shit... Well some of us) and what their perspective is AS WELL as a message to the YOUTH like hey this is the world you're in. Tetsuo is going nuts but listen there's a way out it gets brighter, trust.

    His artwork was previously explained on Twitter and that explanation should be put on here to get a greater feel of the entire story and what Pe is conveying on this project. I can't completely remember everything that was brought up about the Man Eating Tiger piece (that is the album cover) but when I dig through my favs I'll post it here. Hope you enjoy and in the struggle with me as well (with holding off) and if you have anything to add just post and let me know cuz we are all Lup fans, trying to figure out what he's talking about is always number one priority. Cheers.

    1. ‘Summer’
    Best time of the year, hot, kids playing, those survived another dreadful ass winter and it's time to play and mourn. A lot of people get active during the summer. They stunt and you know what they say, Suns out guns out.
    2. ‘Mural’
    RIP to my brothers an sisters that couldn't make it to the summer an also the many that die during this season of heat and exhaustion. We plaster images of the loss on shirts and paint murals on wall as an ode to the homies.
    3. ‘Blur My Hands’
    I think this is a state of confusion or you getting into something an you want to take it back. Regret or righting wrongs. Hard to tell with the title but it sounds like washing away or forgetting wickedness that has happened because of you or things you are surrounded by.
    4. ‘Dots & Lines’
    Like I said before people get shot and killed during the summer. They're busy bodies out rampant doing any and all things. The sun is a revitalizer and it also gives life into crime. Dots for the gun shots and lines of chalk that outline the body.

  8. 5. ‘Fall’
    Summer is slowing down its starting to get cooler. Activity still running but people catching up. Scores are being settled and beef is being finished after searching for that revenge all summer. Can also be a fall of a person in the struggle of the jungle or a fall of a kingdom. A drug lord that his deeds finally caught up to him (Michael Young). For the person it's being slain like in the track before and for the drug kingpin it can go with the prisoner track that follows this one. A king knocked off his thrown and now off to the state.
    6. ‘Prisoner 1 & 2′
    Besides the obvs he drug dealer in jail so that's prison one and the second prison can be psychological prison. That's what the ghetto is, it's a location as well as a state of mind that can trap you an keep you enslaved to the same bullshit that occurs every season every year. It doesn't stop and you can't get out. You got 25 yrs to life and if you can make it to 25 you already got a qtr of a century of mind state of being mentally locked in prison (the hood). You were poppin an hot all summer but now fall is here an you locked up now.
    7. ‘Body Of Work’
    Can't figure what this could be. Maybe a collection of how far you've come the obstacles you face within these seasons (because you have the keep the seasonal theme when considering the track list meanings). Outside of that no idea. Could mean a lot of drugs or a prostitute where her body is her work but idk.
    8. ‘Little Death’
    A loss in the fall but little death sounds like doing something that goes against your moral code and standards. Not an actual death but like back stabbing someone or lying or something that chips away at the person you are an you slowly become consumed by the nightmare that's around you. It could be selling drugs, prostitution, thuggin etc but an act or participation of something you knew better than getting into or something to that extent. A part of you dies in doing so.
    9. ‘No Scratches’
    Be unscathed. Not having flaws or outer issues. Fall holds no scratches because even tho it's dangerous and wild from the summer, things slow down and become more steady. Plus there's not too many titles (of extreme negative stuff) it holds to keep it down or have others dread

  9. 10. ‘Winter’
    Season of despair. It's cold, it's dark. The sun even leaves early. Just a terrible time of the year. A lot of sneaky, shady things happening within the shadows of winter.
    11. ‘Chopper’
    What's the best way to start of the shittiest part of the year in you're from the Midwest or any location that gets snow during winter? You pull the choppers out. Guns, violence, death. Pretty self explanatory but this should get the mood going down the dark scary time of the year.
    12. ‘Deliver’
    Peace of Man or the Peaceful Man (Jesus) in deliver the world is fucked up and I see deliver not only a screenshot of ghettos and the side of pizza not being delivered to some places but Deliver is literally the delivery of the Peaceful Man that shall bring DELIVERANCE to the world or these hoods. Which is Jesus.
    13. ‘Madonna (And Other Mothers In The Hood)’
    All the Moms in the ghettos are like many Mother Mary's and they all view their sons (even if they are involved in crime an gang violence as their little Jesus. To add to that in the hood a lot of the time the sons doesn't have the father at home because of several reasons and that son is like Jesus to the mother.) He's her everything and that mother loves him more than anything including all flaws.
    14. ‘Adoration Of The Magi’
    Clear cut. Jesus. You just a baby. Mother Mary was before this so this is the birth of Jesus. The three Magi came with gifts to admire this wonderful spectacle that was Jesus. Even during the cold times of the year there's shining light in the hood and they could be anybody. But this to me thinking of the seasonal theme could be diff moments of kindness and justice that takes place in the ghettos that come rarely.
    15. ‘They.Resurrect.Over.New’
    Play on Tron video game Tron maybe idk, resurrecting as in the 3 days after Christ was killed, Jesus walked again an it couples perfectly with "Spring" afterward which is when Easter takes place. So yeah they could be enlighten mini Jesus' or people of faith/that do good literally reborn over new era, ideology. Dismissing the norm of the winter and becoming saved by the baby the Magi adorned.
    16. ‘Spring’
    Birth of a new age or time. Being reborn. Hope after the harsh winter. And yet another year we hope for a brighter and better tomorrow. Maybe this year things will be different.


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