The Chicago MC, who also covers the publication, spoke candidly about how the stress behind 'Lasers' resulted in suicidal thoughts. He also opens up about the politics in the music game and even crowning himself the top lyricist in hip-hop.
According to the 29-year-old, Atlantic froze the budget for 'Lasers' in 2009, a devastating blow which drove him to contemplate suicide. While this isn't the first time he's spoken about the suicidal thoughts, Lupe dove a bit deeper in the publication. "It follows you everywhere," he told XXL of slipping into a deep depression. "The way you rationalize things gets titled through that mentality. In the song 'Beautiful Lasers,' that was literal. I own a ton of them."
Now rejuvenated and basking in the success of the album, Lupe has boldly crowned himself the music game's top lyricist.
"I can actually make the argument, seriously, that, 'Yo, I'm better than all y'all,'" he explained. "You have people who can say that. Jay-Z can say that. Eminem can say that. Canibus can say that -- if we are going line for line. If you want to relate me to the newer cats, let's go. Let's go line for line and bar for bar. If it's all about spitting and metaphors and MCing and lyrics and entendres, I will eat 99 percent of you dudes up."
Even with a chart-topping album under his belt, Lupe revealed that his label still had higher expectations. Never one to hold back his thoughts, the Grammy winner noted that Atlantic may view his outspoken nature as a barrier blocking him from selling more albums. "Now I'm waiting for, 'If you didn't say you hated the album in that interview, we would have done 300,000,'" he said.
Since its release, 'Lasers' has remained in the top 20, landing at No. 16 on the album charts last week. Lupe is currently embarking on a national tour which wraps up next month.