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Lupe Fiasco has long owned the distinction of being one of the sharpest lyricists in Hip-Hop, and also showed and proved that he is adept at the art of battle. During his set at Coachella over the weekend, the Chicago rapper put any rapper who wants to test his pen on notice in a defiant speech with folks online reacting in kind.

I’m going to break the wall here and state that I feel that Lupe Fiasco might very well be the best on-paper lyricist in modern Hip-Hop. Songs like “Mural,” “The Cool” and countless others demonstrate his immense ability as a writer but also reveal the deep layers of his skillset.

As I’ve written about before, the quick back-and-forth between him and Royce Da 5’9 was largely ended by an inspired Lupe Fiasco on the track “Steve Jobs: SLR 3 1/2” which I still believe was largely freestyled or, at the very least, delivered in one take. Everyone should know and understand that Lu is a dangerous MC if one is a student of this game.

During a pause at his set at Coachella, Lupe addressed the crowd as only he could and let off a profanity-laced barrage by saying that under no uncertain terms can any rapper on the planet take him out when it comes to rhyming.

“Hear me clearly when I say this and I mean it from the bottom of my heart. When it comes to this art, and I quote, I will battle any motherf*cking rapper. Anywhere. Any motherf*ckin’ time,” Lupe said to an uproarious crowd.

This declaration from Lupe has the culture in a bit of a daze considering the mock meat shenanigans between Drake, Rick Ross, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar with K-Dot the only one putting a strong bullet on names while the antics are front and center from everyone else. Even proponents of battle rap culture like Aye Verb got involved and seemingly called out Lupe via X but that was shut down somewhat quickly.

However, Lupe did join Aye Verb in a Twitter Spaces conversation and explained his position on Kendrick Lamar and other rappers.

On X, we’ve got some reactions to Lupe Fiasco putting the game on notice, Aye Verb’s Twitter Spaces chat, and more.

Photo: ANGELA WEISS / Getty