Across his lengthy and prolific career, Lupe Fiasco has continually discovered a manner to defy labels. When he emerged in the hip-hop avant-garde inside the mid-aughts, his approach becomes idiosyncratic. He sought to take possession of his paintings. He was open approximately the usage of hobbies apart from rap as innovative shops—he blogged, skateboarded, and became outspoken, nearly his love for anime. In a time earlier than it felt every day to accomplish that, he was open in his affairs of state, embraced dramatic storytelling in the form of rap operas like The Cool and direction, had relentless willpower to wordplay and concept-upsetting bars.
Which is to mention, he’s challenging to pin down. His projects have taken several forms in the remaining decade, and he’s confirmed off quite a few one-of-a-kind passions. So it is now not unexpected that this week he emerges with something completely new. On Monday, he premiered Beat N’ Path, a docu-series he produced with Hong Kong media maven Bonnie Chan-Woo about his travels across China to learn about individual styles of martial arts. In an interview, Lupe explained that martial arts have usually been a part of his life.
Lupe’s father changed into a military veteran and engineer who became interested in martial arts and raised him with a deep appreciation of the records, spirituality, technical skill, and splendor of martial arts. Hip-hop has had its proportion of martial arts fanatics through the years. However, this historical past uniquely positions Lupe to host the display. We sat down with him closing week in VICE’s Brooklyn office to research more significance about the collection and the specific position that martial arts have performed in his existence.
. How did we pass over the reality you have been doing kung fu since you had been three? Lupe Fiasco: Well, in some methods, you’ve got simplest got so many chips. You can not show all your chips; there may be certain matters that are not relevant. The tale is, my circle of relatives’ business is the martial arts. My father had martial arts schools in Chicago for forty years. He began doing martial arts while he was in his early teens. He could have been a global judo champion if he did not hurt his shoulder… Or, as his sensei said, “if he had educated a chunk greater.” He had an array of students from all around the world, and he had eight black belts.
So martial arts changed into our lifestyles. Martial arts and army surplus shops because he becomes a military veteran. I should rely on ten in Japanese before I should be counted to 10 in English; it is how close our education became. We had sensei and students schooling in the backyard, guns all over the house. My father’s first items gave me as a toddler changed into a djembe drum and a samurai sword. I got my first black belt; I think I become eleven or something like that.