Lupe Fiasco “N.E.R.D. Freestyle”

UPDATE: A day after and Lupe is apparently hanging up the mic after this release. The tweets…


Lu was in a giving mood earlier today, dropping an unmixed new set of rhymes over J. Cole’s “Everybody Dies”.

The “N.E.R.D. Freestyle” sparked a convo about anti-semitism with this line below being called into question by our well-respected friend in the industry: Z over at DJ Booth.

Artists getting robbed for their publishing by dirty Jewish execs who think it’s alms from the covenant.

That’s all the tweets. Now I find my bias’ actually conflicting here because Lupe is, as you all know, one of my all-time favorite rappers and lyricists and Z and his DJ Booth staff are my favorite writers here on the web on the hip hop culture.

But to be as objective as possible here, I’m looking at both sides to this as Lu basically says the line above is not anti-Semitic and Z, who is Jewish, was offended by the line — calling it anti-Semitic, but not associating that label on Lupe himself. That’s a key distinction by Z and so when you separate the two, it’s easier not to jump to the extremes here.

To be honest, I find myself just becoming more educated by how a choice of words and associations can be offensive. I can’t speak from Z’s platform to feel what he feels exactly, but I can at least try and picture it. Conversely, Lupe’s “defense” tweets make sense that he was talking of his personal experience of getting robbed by a dirty exec. He added Jewish to further the description of that individual(s). Because of that though, I get the reaction because one can also interpret it as an unfair generalization. I do believe that Lupe isn’t intending to offend anyone who is Jewish so I can also align with not interpreting that as a dig at anyone who’s Jewish.

Whew, it’s a touchy topic for sure. At this point, I simply strongly suggest you read the full article on DJ Booth on top of the subsequent tweets to get the full scope and make your own conclusion.

Needless to say, it is just unfortunate that the controversial line sparked some heavy negativity today. One of my takeaways is how a situation like this can be looked at in an even larger scale. We should all just be more mindful of applying negative personal experiences toward a race, religion, etc. as a whole. That’s definitely dangerous and certainly unfair.