Celebrity ambassador and hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco’s new single, “Mission,” off of his fifth studio album Tetsuo & Youth, is coming out with the intention of empowering those struggling with cancer and paying tribute to those who have passed from it. The first minute and a half of the track consists of cancer survivors sharing their story, but the crux of the song is personal, pertaining to Lupe’s experience losing his grandmother to breast cancer.
Lupe’s interview with Katie Couric concerning “Mission” starts off on a distinct note, with Katie addressing Lupe’s statement pertaining to Obama being “the biggest terrorist” he recognizes in his fight against terrorism. The repercussions of this statement have resulted in Lupe being blackballed, losing friends and board members of the Lupe Fiasco Foundation, and various sponsorships. Questioning America’s first black president in the public eye ignited a slingshot effect right back at Lupe, in which many questioned not only his loyalty to his own race, but his overall role as a celebrity ambassador.
Hashing out political views with Katie segues into deeper discussion on Lupe’s reputation as a “pioneer of the conscious hip-hop movement,” ultimately bringing the spotlight on source material that transcends identity, race, political ideals, and religion: the issue of disease. Lupe’s focus on cancer aims not only to cope with his personal loss, but also to bring attention to the illness and highlight a sense of strength that evolves through adversity.
Lupe’s currently working on a remix of “Mission” called “Re-Mission,” which will include many more voices and testimonials. This remix includes Katie Couric herself contributing her story of losing both her husband and sister to the disease. While Lupe continues to be vocal about controversial subject matter and issues that hit close to home, he proceeds to move forward as a social figure despite any heated noise that may surround him.
Check out the interview with Katie Couric and Lupe Fiasco above and listen to “Mission” below.