Arguably one of the most quintessential Lupe Fiasco tracks ever, “Hey Lupe” has finally been released after a 15-year episode of uncertainty as to whether or not it would officially be released. Originally recorded before the Chicago rapper’s breakout studio album Food & Liquor in 2006, the track later surfaced on 2010’s Vintage Fiasco mixtape. Yet the track never made its way outside of the mix DJ Absolut included it into nearly a decade ago.
However, co-founder of Lupe’s 1st & 15th label, Charles “Chill” Patton, recently released the track, packaging it into a three-song playlist that includes previously-released singles “Gametime” and “Run Game.” In a recent statement to The FADER, Patton shared the story behind the creation of the iconic track:
“I vividly remember the day Lupe recorded this song. I got the beat from the producer and played it twice for Lu while we were riding in a white Suburban, 20 minutes later we made it to the studio and he immediately went in and knocked out the whole song — verses, hook, adlibs, etc. It was natural for him, but not so natural for me to see this, and I had been around some of the greats. This is when I knew he was a Monster!! It’s been in the vaults for many years, and now we are excited to share it with his fans.”
The artist didn’t stop at releasing the single, however. Fiasco has also put together a cinematic visual for the single, which sees a neighborhood of youth get down to the energetic track. You can watch the video for “Hey Lupe” and listen to the previously-unreleased single in all of its studio-recorded glory above.
For more related news, J. Cole has teased the release date of his forthcoming album.