Lupe Fiasco fans breath a big sigh of relief

Posted by Jenna Postler

The hip-hop community breathed a communal sigh of relief this past Friday, Oct. 8, as news leaked that Lupe Fiasco's third album was finally given a release date. The album, titled "Lasers" is set for release on March 8, 2011.

This announcement comes a mere week before the proposed, "Fiasco Friday," on Oct. 15, where fans of the rapper plan to protest outside the offices of Atlantic Records in N.Y.

Fiasco tweeted a picture of himself and Atlantic Records representative Julie Greenwald, accompanied by the caption "Victory!" on Oct. 7. The picture, which showed Fiasco and Greenwald giving thumbs up in front of an Atlantic logo, gave fans the first clue that the dispute between the artist and his label was finally resolved.

The controversy between the artist and his label began months ago, when Atlantic allegedly tried to cut into the rapper's profits. Fiasco claims that the label pressured him to record songs to which he would have no publishing rights. Atlantic tried to get Fiasco to record, "Nothing on You," which was later given to fellow rapper B.o.B. Because Fiasco himself did not write any of the song, Atlantic would own a large percentage of the record's rights and its earnings.

Fiasco also claimed that the label attempted to rope him into a "360 deal." The deal would have entitled Atlantic to 25 percent of all profits earned by the artist, even if they were unrelated to a song or album. In such a deal, Atlantic would have gained profits from anything the artist worked on, including television and endorsements. Fiasco explained all of this in a three-minute speech he delivered at The Second Regional Academic and Cultural Collaborative in Dayton, Ohio this past week.

Fans have eagerly awaited his new album, "Lasers," which has been finished for over two and a half years. Because of financial disputes, Atlantic Records refused to promote the album, or even give it a release date. This past summer, fans created an online petition to protest the delay that Atlantic placed on the release of the album. The online petition has reached 30,000 signatures.

In July, Fiasco expressed delight that fans created the petition and claimed that Atlantic executives love to see fans that actually care. Fan Richard Baker organized the protest, which is still slated to take place, although now, it is set to be a celebratory march and event. The LupEND blog encourages attendees to bring picket signs with the date "March 8" written on them.

This has been a big week for the rapper. In addition to the announcement of the "Lasers" release date he was also featured on Kanye West's popular G.O.O.D. Fridays series. His recent success can be partly attributed to involved fans who put pressure on Atlantic executives.

Jenna Postler is a sophomore from rural Vermont who know's what's hip (hop).

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