That lyric in Lupe Fiasco’s track “Words I Never Said” brought the Hip hop artist a lot of attention and new fans in the Palestine solidarity community.
The song was featured on his album Lasers which shot to the top of the Billboard 200 charts when it was released last March.
The lyric is a reference to US President Barack Obama’s silence throughout Israel’s 22-day bombardment of Gaza, during the last weeks of his transition to the presidency in January 2008.
What motivated Lupe to tackle the question of Palestine when virtually no other US artist with a mass following will touch the issue?
In a recent video interview with Sama’an Ashrawi, Lupe Fiasco spoke about his early education on Palestine. As a child the artist attended mosque, and had many friends in Chicago’s Southwest Side, where much of the city’s large Palestinian population is concentrated.
Lupe Fiasco is known for his progressive politics and lyrics expressing solidarity with struggles for justice in the United States and around the world.
For Ashrawi, a student at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), the interview brought together two passions – Palestine (where his father was born) and Hip Hop. Ashrawi is Director of Entertainment Programming for UT’s Texas Student Television and he also produces the station’s Hip Hop TV show, Longhorn Hip Hop.