Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Whos Making Money

The day his fans have been waiting for has arrived, but Lupe Fiasco doesn't appear to be basking in the glow of his latest album, "Lasers."

The Chicago lyricist's third studio album comes after his critically and commercially successful offering, "The Cool." After some delays - and even scheduled fan demonstrations demanding the record's release - "Lasers" eventually leaked a couple of weeks before the official March 8 release date.

In a candid Q&A compiled from two interviews with New York Magazine, the 30-year-old rapper, born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, was asked about his hopes for "Lasers."

"To be blunt, I don't really give a [crap]," Fiasco said. “I've grown very distant from the business, very numb to it...I don't really care about the success anymore. I don't really care about the fame. Three, four years later, I look at my bank account statements, and I haven't made any money with my record label. You start to think a little bit differently about your motivations and why you're doing what you're doing."

Despite his bold claim, Fiasco insists that there is no longer any ill will towards his label, Atlantic Records, calling their current relationship "copacetic." Hopefully, he went on, "we'll get through the rest of our contract without too many big hiccups."

Label issues aside, Fiasco has a different problem with the industry: a lack of creativity.

"I’m guilty of it, too," he admitted. "Hip-hop today — talking solely about the commercial space — it’s the same producers, sound, over and over again. The artist with that particularly poppy song is given the first look as opposed to that ethereal, weird artist with the brand-new music."

Take, for example, the Grammys win that had Beliebers targeting their wrath towards one Esperanza Spalding. "The person who wins Best New Artist is this really abstract left bass player," Fiasco said, "[b]ecause it’s about who’s making music, who’s making something different. Justin Bieber sounds just like everybody else, to be honest. He’s the homie; he’s dope. But he’s no different than Sean Kingston, Usher."

Does Fiasco have a point? If you picked up his album, let us know what you think of it in the comments. To hear more on the latest in pop culture, check out the Hollywood Hangover podcast.

Washington (CNN) – While Donald Trump may be focusing on his television show, a senior adviser - who has been pushing a possible presidential bid for the real estate tycoon - will make a visit to Iowa on Monday.

Michael Cohen, executive vice president at the Trump Organization and a special counsel to Trump, will go to Des Moines on Monday to meet with Republican party officials, organizers and potential sources of campaign money.

Cohen helped create the website ShouldTrumpRun.com, which is not connected to Trump and was set up independently. His visit comes on a day six other likely Republican candidates will be in the state, home to the nation's first caucuses February 6.

"I'll be meeting with significant people in Iowa, including large donors," he told CNN. "I'm gauging the reception Mr. Trump would have … In June, when he hopefully decides to run, I'll be able to turn the information over to him."

Cohen said he is meeting with about a dozen "leading GOP representatives" during the trip. And though Trump is aware of the trip, he did not ask his adviser to go.

He will also attend the Iowa Faith and Freedom spring event Monday night, where Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer will address a gathering of social conservatives.

Trump, who won't make a decision on whether to run for the presidency until the last episode of "Celebrity Apprentice" airs, told the Des Moines Register that he may make a visit to Iowa before making the final call. "I will meet many, many people, maybe all of the people. If I decide to run, I will be shaking hands with everybody," he said.

One person who's not a fan of Trump is Sen. Lamar Alexander, R- Tennessee. He told Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union" that Trump's favorable ratings in a recent poll "says more about the media than Donald Trump."

Alexander said, "There's always someone like Donald Trump who runs who has absolutely no chance of winning and who is well known. I mean, he's famous for being famous. He may be good in business but he's not going to be president."

CNN's Steve Brusk and Natalie Apsell contributed to this story.

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