Despite slurs, Lupe is no Fiasco


Finding a successful headliner for Spring Fling is no easy task. Yalies demand a lot from the performer: excitement, big name, high energy, impeccable performance, danceability. And, after all initial doubts, Lupe Fiasco exceeded expectations, ensuring that this year’s Spring Fling was a success.

The set itself was nothing short of spectacular. Fiasco involved the Yale population, bringing up a student dressed in a full-body orange suit, dedicating a song to “the ladies” and commenting on our hard-partying ways. His set intertwined old classics with songs from his new album “Lasers” and kept the concert at high energy. Fiasco perfectly timed crowd favorites, performing “Superstar” and “The Show Goes On” to re-energize the crowd at points where the concert could have gone downhill.

I may only be a freshman, but I had heard stories about last year’s Fling and the fiasco that was MGMT. Slow slongs and a weak performance dashed the crowd’s expectations — almost the exact opposite of the Lupe Experience.

Like many people, I had reservations about the lineup. Lupe’s college tour — he performed at the University of Pennsylvania last week — could have made the concert seem almost impersonal. But from the moment he got on stage, he dispelled these fears by bringing a unique feel to his set and a high energy level. Many in the audience seemed to feel the same way I did; concert-goers were perched atop shoulders, almost everyone was dancing, and nearly all sentiments ran high (the rest were tainted by alcohol).

The lowpoints of Fiasco’s performance were the comments he made in between his songs. The first thing that he said upon getting on stage was, “I know half of you is privileged rich kids.” Um, really? Aren’t most of us on financial aid?

At one point, Lupe challenged the DJ on stage to a competition to see whose side of the crowd was more enthusiastic. Even then, he referred to his side as the “richer” and “more privileged” one. I don’t care how big of a deal Lupe is; it was inappropriate for him to make an assumption about the students here, especially one that is so clearly untrue.

But his thoughts about the student body were some of the least poignant remarks that he made. Lupe went on a self-proclaimed “political rant” where he declared his support for the Libyan revolution, while simultaneously shooting down the United States’ involvement in Libya, stating, “You’re not spreading democracy by shooting people.”

He then proceeded to declare his love for the gays, the socialists, and people who support democracy and “anything else you believe.” His openness and seeming tolerance was met with cheers, but the tide quickly turned when Fiasco stated his love for his “friends in Palestine.” The pro-Palestinian agenda was met with boos and negativity from the audience (at least towards the front where I was standing). He tried to recover by turning back to more popular beliefs, but the crowd’s rancor was so alcohol-induced that even if he had left it alone, it probably would have had the same effect.

His rhetoric soon turned negative, as he publicly condemned “Nazis” and “Aryans.” This sentiment was well received, and his popularity was restored. Fancy political footwork to win back the Jews, Lupe. (I guess he forgot how much of the Yale population we compose.) He also encouraged Yalies to do something good with our education, advising students not to “abuse people’s money” and making various references to the evils of Goldman Sachs.

This rant was followed by a seamless transition into “The Show Goes On.”

While many of Lupe’s statements were inappropriate, he gave the student body some much-needed advice amid the politics: “Don’t stress out over school so much. This is college, have fun.”

Thanks, Lupe. I’ll keep that in mind during finals week.


  • 2006alum

    chill, woman.
    I’m not sure what you’re so upset by or what this rant seems to accomplish. I was there, and I didn’t hear boos, his message was well-received. He didn’t need to “win anyone back,” and certainly not this Jew.

    The performance was fresh. Now go study for your finals.

  • ickthyus

    This article is an embarrassment to print journalism. I am reluctant to believe that it was written by a Yale student.

  • Jaymin

    Not really sure why you consider the remarks as “inappropriate”. Yea, he was moralizing, but his remarks weren’t completely irrelevant given context of his audience.

  • alsoanon

    wow people really need to stop whining about how it’s a “slur” to be called rich and privileged OH MY GOD. also fyi it is perfectly possible to be rich, privileged, and on financial aid, gain some perspective jfc. the only good thing about this article is that the comments above me restore the faith in yale students that i lost after reading it.

  • theAvenger

    everyone needs to back off. this is a review, so yes, it will be subjective. yes, people’s opinions may not be like yours. the way i see it, the author provides some reasoning for each one of her claims, and that’s all we can ask from her as a reviewer. now all of you can go and disagree, it does not matter. perhaps you should have written this instead.

  • Undergrad

    From where I was standing, it seemed the pro-Palestinian comments got much louder applause than the pro-Libyan comments–I couldn’t hear any boos.

    He might’ve been referring to the fact that almost half of Yale undergrads aren’t receiving any financial aid at all, so it might be fair to call half of us “priveleged rich kids”. What wasn’t accurate was his assumption that the students on financial aid are the only ones “working really hard”–many in the non-financial aid group are extremely talented, hard-working students (they do have the pressure of knowing their parents are paying 50 grand a year, after all), and some students getting a full ride let their grades slip, especially compared to high school.

    He also made references to “students in ROTC” and “super-seniors” which applies to few if anyone in Yale College. So he might not have known much about the school (especially the ROTC ban).

    In any casek, his political statements shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone who actually knew his lyrics. I for one enjoyed them, even though I didn’t agree with everything he said. Lupe has managed to make peace an edgy, radical concept again, like it was in the 1960s.

  • commenter

    There’s nothing wrong with wishing peace to Palestine, whether you’re pro-Palestine or not.
    Also, ALL of us are privileged to be at Yale. And coming from an income bracket MUCH below the cutoff for no family contribution, I’d say that more than half of us here grew up privileged, financial aid or not (seeing as your family can be making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and still receive aid). Let’s not pretend Yale is more socioeconomically diverse than it really is. The large majority of students here come from upper-middle class or above families.

  • theAvenger


  • Jaymin


    WHY ARE PEOPLE TAKING LUPE’S REMARKS SO SERIOUSLY?? You people need to get your heads out of your arses. He was trying to rev up the crowd through situational humor and Yale’s reputation for rich kids and privilege is an easy and quick target.

    Those whiners who took so much offense to him really need to chill out.

  • Yalie2013

    Stunning photograph!

  • Madas

    Geese, lighten up. Thank God you’re so blessed you think being called privileged is a slur. I didn’t care for the comment, but must everything you hear agree with your delicate sensibilities? God help you all in the real world.

  • Graduating

    Seriously chill out dude
    we are so obviously privileged whether we are on financial aid or not do you not realize how much people in this world are suffering. There are millions living under a dollar a day. Learn to take a joke!!


    In the 2010–2011 year, 57% of all Yale undergraduates received need-based aid from Yale.

    LUPE came pretty damn close. As I remember it he said, and I quote, “Half of y’all are privileged and the other half worked pretty damn hard to get here”

    In addition if you can’t take a joke about being privileged you clearly have some insecurities you need to work out.

    Also the people around me cheered pretty damn hard for the Palestinian people and I’m proud to be at a school where people support their cause.

  • ML

    As many people already mentioned, being on financial aid does not mean that you are not “privileged’, unless you think that making up to 200000 $ is being underprivileged. FYI did you know that the GDP per household in the US is only around 50000$? Moreover, it is disturbing that you suggest that his declaring his love for his friends in Palestine is part of a ” pro Palestinian agenda”. But what I found even more shocking is how you conclude that people and especially Jewish students were offended ( which is untrue btw) by this claim, as if liking Palestinian people, or even openly supporting the human rights of Palestinians ( which he did not do) was an attack against Jews, and thus the boos. I sincerely hope (in fact I am pretty sure) that people and Jewish students here at Yale don’t have such a biased, bigoted view on the issue as the one suggested in this article by Lipka.

  • xiaonizi00

    Oh, what a surprise! Here you will find what you want, to act now! Oh, even more gifts