Lupe Fiasco’s long-awaited Lasers album will finally hit shelves next year. The Chicago MC’s label, Atlantic Records, announced Friday (October 8) that his third LP is slated for a March 8 release. The album’s first single will be released October 26 via his website.
The official drop date comes a day after Lupe tweeted a picture of himself grinning with record exec Julie Greenwald below a placard emblazoned with the Atlantic logo and giving a thumbs-up sign. The pic was accompanied by a simple caption: “Victory!”
The announcement follows months of drama between Lupe and his label, in which the bespectacled lyricist charged that Atlantic urged him to record singles that he wouldn’t retain publishing rights to. One of the records the label pushed was “Nothin’ on You,” which was later handed over to Lupe’s labelmate B.o.B and became a #1 hit.
“I wrote ‘Superstar.’ The hook, all that sh–. That whole song is mine. I’m not doing it outta fame. I don’t mind having people come in and support. That’s how my career started. With all that said, I own some of ‘Superstar.’ These records, I’m not finnin’ to own sh– on those records [Atlantic chose as singles]. N—a, that’s not success. That’s stupidity,” Lupe told MTV News in July. “I got a whole family, a whole team, a whole crew of n—as I f— with in the streets that’s eating off what Lupe Fiasco is doing. I gotta do what’s best. If I’m not getting no publishing check, that means I can’t pay for my man’s lawyer.”
Fiasco has also revealed that the label’s insistence on cutting into his endorsement and tour revenue via a 360 deal strained his rapport with the company.
With the album in limbo, some of Lupe’s dedicated fans started an online petition to coax Atlantic into releasing Lasers, which scored roughly 16,000 signatures by mid-summer and, at press time, boasted more than 30,000 digital co-signs. The initiative likely played a factor in the amelioration of the MC’s relationship with his label.
“For them to see 16,000 people say, ‘This is what we want and what we want now,’ ” Lupe said in July. ” ‘We’re sick of all this dumb bullsh–.’ They love to see fans that actually care.”