Lupe Fiasco Blasts Atlantic Records Executives & Lyor Cohen During Conversation With Joe Budden

The Chicago lyricist called out Craig Kallman, Mike Caren, and Mike Kyser.

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(AllHipHop News) Joe Budden was on an anti-label crusade for years. The emcee-turned-podcaster admitted to once being bitter about his treatment while signed to Def Jam as a soloist and Eminem’s Shady Records as a member of Slaughterhouse.

Lupe Fiasco is another Hip Hop artist that struggled with the major company that was funding his music. His battle with Atlantic Records included fans protesting in support of the Lasers album and the hacktivist group Anonymous allegedly forcing the release of the Tetsuo and Youth album.

Budden and Fiasco connected for a conversation on Instagram Live. Part of the discussion focused on both rappers’ respective issues with the music industry. Budden was adamant that he and Lupe’s reputations were damaged by the powers that be.

Lupe said he had to “fight the good fight” during the time period after the release of The Cool album and his contractual separation from Atlantic. The “Hip-Hop Saved My Life” rapper blasted some Atlantic executives while recognizing the contributions of others.

“My only beef at Atlantic Records has always only been with three people – Craig Kallman, Mike Caren, and Mike Kyser,” stated Lupe. “The rest of the building – beautiful. Julie Greenwald is an amazing executive and in some cases a wonderful person. Very supportive. Marsha [St. Hubert] is amazing. The whole staff.”

The 38-year-old 1st and 15th Entertainment head went on to talk about how he still feels the need to “sh*t on” the people “that’s f*cking the game up” without being called bitter. He specifically called out former Warner Music Group CEO and current YouTube Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen.

“If you really, truly want to change the business… you gotta point out people that ain’t sh*t, that’s hiding behind the success of other people, that’s really f*cking the game up, are really the reason that the game is f*cked up,” declared Fiasco. 

The Chicago spitter continued, “Lyor is a big part of the game being f*cked up and how n*ggas move and how n*ggas are getting f*cked over. They don’t really give a f*ck about the well being of the artist. When are they? And what’s going to make them do that?”

Again, Lupe made it clear he did not have a problem with every higher-up in the music business. He even credited some of the success in his career to his relationship with Atlantic.

“When I say Atlantic Records, I say Craig Kallman, Mike Caren, Mike Kyser. I don’t say the whole f*cking building when it’s time to really break it down and get into the nitty-gritty of the conversation of who did what, as well as Lyor Cohen,” explained Lupe.

The Midwesterner born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco added, “I’m not throwing the whole f*cking building under the bus. My picture is still up there on the wall. For good reason. You bring 14 Grammy nominations and a Grammy into the building and you sell three, four, five million records.”

Plus, Lupe Fiasco accused Kallman of telling a radio station to stop playing “Kick, Push” out of spite for not having an equity stake in the single. He then told the story of Atlantic executives supposedly purchasing Celeste Legaspi’s original master recording that was used for Lupe’s breakout hit.

“You know what they did? They flew down to the Philippines to find the woman who we sampled the record from and bought the entire record from her,” Fiasco told Budden. “They actually own the song that ‘Kick, Push’ is sampled from. That’s what they did.” 

Lupe also conceded, “It’s genius. On some gangsta sh*t, Atlantic doesn’t double-dip. They triple-dip. It’s f*cking genius. It’s cold-blooded… I’m from the streets. I’m a streets n*gga for real. The sh*t’s genius. Grow it, sell it, and own the pawnshop that’s n*ggas is stealing the TVs and selling it back to you. Genius.”