Sure, his surname may be synonymous with disaster, but Lupe Fiasco is looking for anything but when it comes time to roll out his sophomore album, The Cool, tentatively slated for summer release.
The Chi-Town rapper topped multiple year-end lists with his debut LP, Food & Liquor, but his critical acclaim didn't exactly match his album sales, largely due to an Internet leak that pushed his project back a few months. So for his next effort, Fiasco said he's taking extra measures to avoid any bootlegging pitfalls.
"The timing is gonna be pop, pop, pop," he explained. "There's gonna be a lot of setup and a lot of preproduction on this album, so it's gonna be in pieces. But the pieces won't come together, seriously, until like three weeks before it comes out. We'll probably record everything in, like, a week. So we're just gonna get it all together, map it out, have it done to a T, and then go and record. Then fresh from the studio, fresh to mastering ... so it eliminates a lot of time and error that was surrounding [my debut]."
Aside from changing his marketing and promotion plan, Lupe also hinted at a few more changes. The skateboarding MC said not to expect any high-profile collaborations this time around — like production from the Neptunes or a guest verse from Jay-Z — save perhaps a beat from Kanye West. According to him, The Cool will be handled all in-house by his First & Fifteenth Entertainment producers and artists.
And with such a whirlwind end to his 2006, from his three Grammy nominations to being honored by GQ at its Men of the Year banquet, the rapper admitted he's experiencing what he called a "reboot" stage. He hasn't written a rap in months while touring, he's sworn off the Internet temporarily, and he's turned into a bit of an insomniac, he said. He's building and destroying himself, he said, in order to begin the next phase of his career.
"You got to take in everything," he explained. "Jay-Z's a.ssistant, she pulled me aside at the GQ Men of the Year thing and she was like, 'Now I know you're in the process of rebuilding. You gave everything that you had. So now you got to take the experiences that you had throughout this process; putting out the album and traveling, doing all this stuff. And now you got to tell those stories.' So it's a whole 'nother side that people are about to see, [more] experienced."
One thing the rapper won't change when it comes time to record, however, is the characters he said he slightly introduced on his debut. He expressed delight that most of his fans didn't notice certain characters on Food that he plans to bring back throughout The Cool. "It's gonna be weird," Fiasco said of the idea. "People are gonna see it and be like, 'Wow, ain't that the dude from this song?' I'm building concepts now for the album," he continued. "I got the title, and I work top down. ... This album is gonna be a bit more streamlined and a little bit more focused, I guess you could say.
"Not a concept album," he continued. "But I been wrestling with how to make the concept about what I want to make the album about fit but still have enough room where it's just not a full-on story about somebody else. Where you still get all the — what I think are — necessary ingredients to do a good, good album."
This report is provided by MTV News (MTV.com)