Rapper Lupe Fiasco has lashed out at President Obama in a recent interview, referring to him as the world's "biggest terrorist" in light of our current foreign policy.
The Chicago MC, whose most recent album Lasers was released in March, is attacking the President for being too far right in his foreign policy. In an interview on CBS News' "What's Trending," Lupe explained his position: "In my fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama, and the United States of America," he told host Shira Lazar.
He went on to explain the comment, as his publicist undoubtedly fell to the ground in convulsions: "I'm trying to fight the terrorism that's actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff that the U.S. government allows to happen, and the foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists. And it's easy for us because it's just some oil."
The remarks strike at a similar vein that was examined in another of the rapper's songs, "American Terrorist," from his 2006 release Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor. In the song, draws comparisons between points in American history and terrorist attacks: "We came through the storm / nooses on our necks / and a smallpox blanket to keep us warm / On a 747 on the Pentagon lawn / Wake up, the alarm clock is connected to a bomb / Anthrax lab on a West Virginia farm / Shorty ain't learned to walk already heavily armed..."
Fiasco had also criticized Obama in a recent single, "Words I Never Said," for refusing to speak out against Israeli bombings of civilians in the Gaza Strip. Such statements, whether put to song or not, have the potential to create wildfires of controversy amidst an American climate of extreme hostility against anyone who questions the U.S. government's unwavering support and funding of Israel's motives and actions in the intensely turbulent Middle East.
There has been considerable reluctance among the Hip-Hop community to outwardly question the President, despite his policy both home and abroad bearing such remarkably strong resemblance to that of his rightfully lambasted predecessor. Government policy has long been the subject of protest in music, but when a well recognized musician takes a public stance as such, he risks alienating a massive portion of his audience for the chance to be a catalyst of thought and motivation for those paying attention.
While we as Americans are all protected under the First Amendment, there's a shadowy flipside to speaking the unfettered truth that goes beyond fanbase marginalization. It's not exactly Wikileaks material to provide an anecdotal narrative damnation of our government's tactics, but the repercussions could be severe. Revered Minneapolis rapper Brother Ali, long known for his positive-principle "street preaching," has endured significant inconvenience and authoritative scrutiny since the 2007 release of his single "Uncle Sam Goddamn," in which he claims "the government's an addict / With a billion dollar a week kill brown people habit".
In a recent interview with Antiquiet, Ali explained his red-tape nightmare: "Our Australian show promoter wire transferred money for our shows to our bank accounts in Minneapolis, and the Department of Homeland Security froze that bank account and stopped the transfer. I had to register with them, give them my information, who I am & what I was doing, everybody that worked for me, my schedule, social security numbers, addresses, bank accounts, more things than you could believe. The froze everything up.
They told me that it was random. That the words Brother and Ali were red flag words, but I was made aware at the end of the whole ordeal that they were aware of the Uncle Sam Goddamn video. Right around the time that video hit a million views, after I performed it on TV, that's when that happened. I got kicked off a tour for that song, because it was sponsored by a big company. Got a lot of hate mail from guys named Chad, writing private MySpace messages back in the day. Guys with no shirts on and white baseball hats on backwards telling me 'I'm gonna come to your show tonight and beat your ass.' I got a lot of that for probably about a year."
Lupe, born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, followed up his CBS comments about terrorism by explaining why he doesn't vote, saying that casting a ballot for a politician for him is an endorsement of everything that person does. his reluctance to vote for any presidential candidate stems from the fact that "I don't want you to bomb some village in the middle of nowhere," he said.