Next time you pick up a Lupe Fiasco record, don’t be alarmed if the tracklisting is a little skimpy. The Chicago rapper revealed in an interview that his label only pays him for 11 songs per album, and that additional tracks also hits his pockets as well.
Sitting down with DJ Skee, Lu broke down what appears to be a little known industry secret. Apparently in Lupe Fiasco’s contract, Atlantic has given him a cap of 11 songs it will pay for and any additional songs come at the expense of his royalties. Sharing with Skee the process of trimming his upcoming fifth studio album, Tetsuo & Youth, Lupe explains the process.
From the interview:
“I only get paid for 11 records. There’s a cap, you know, on your royalties, where you only get paid…where the record label only pays for 11 records. And in my position, anything over 11 records is not just free, it’s not like you’re doing extra joints. It actually pulls money out of my royalties. So every time I do…like The Cool…you do 19 records, you’re getting banged. That’s why Illmatic only has 10 songs.”
Wow, industry rules are something else, right? Lupe also talks about setting trends with his breakout smash “Kick Push” and paving the way for folks like Lil Wayne. Seems like there might have been a slight shot in there, but judge for yourselves.
The new album has been hinted at an August release.
Check out the clip below with Lupe Fiasco chopping it up with DJ Skee.