By Nadeska Alexis with reporting by Sway Calloway
It’s amazing what a little pressure can do. Fans have been waiting patiently for music (or any news, really) from Lupe Fiasco and his All City Chess Club, and now it finally seems like a mixtape could be on the way.
The first rule of All City Chess Club is: “If they said it, they’re in it.” That’s the word according to Lupe Fiasco, who gathered a few talented young rappers that were “rocking on the same wavelength” to form a powerhouse collective. The problem, however, is that J. Cole, Wale, Blu, Mickey Factz, B.o.B, Asher Roth and company haven’t linked up to record anything substantial, but Lupe says the right efforts could yield a mixtape in the near future.
Lupe has his own album, Food Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Part 1, coming up this fall, but during this week’s episode of“RapFix Live,” a few members of his club — Diggy, Mickey Factz, and B.o.B — had questions for him about the status of the collective.
Mickey Factz, echoing the sentiments of fans, wanted to know, “When are we gonna get everybody to do this All City Chess Club project, brother?” adding, “Call B.o.B, I’ll get Wale, I’ll get Cole — let’s just make this happen. It’s getting ridiculous now. We’re going on about two years now. Let’s make it work.” Lupe, momentarily taken aback but generally amused by the barrage of questions, laughed it off, then gave in. “Aight, let’s do it,” he said. “Everybody who’s a part of the All City Chess Club, let’s do it. Let’s make something happen. I’m ready.”
Since we’ve haven’t heard much from or about the crew, save for their “I’m Beamin’ (remix),” Lupe explained his original vision behind the all-star collective: “Everybody [has] their own piece, and I never meant it to be a Wu-Tang thing or nothing like that,” he said. “[It was] just to show some unity from everybody who was rocking on the same wavelength — so Blu, Asher Roth, the Cool Kids, Mickey, I reached out to J. Cole, I reached out to Wale, Diggy of course, and my man Dosage from Philadelphia.”
Of trying to rope everyone in to record a project, Lupe said, “That’s gonna be mayhem, but ya’ll wanna do it? Let’s do it. It’s a process. We’ll put it together correctly and write, and make sure everybody gets their fair share. I think it’ll most likely live in the mixtape world so we don’t get caught up in that label thing.”
With the head count over 10 at this point, it seems reasonable to expect a mixtape project from the All City Chess Club over a studio-backed LP. “You know, the publishing splits on that are gonna be bananas?” Lupe said, laughing. “And that’s what I was tryna tell ’em, like, ‘Man, you gonna get like 30 cents [each].’ “
So, new mixtape from All City Chess Club following Food Liquor II? “I’ll do my best. I can’t make any promises, but I’ll do my best,” Lupe said. Currently, the full lineup stands as: J. Cole, Wale, B.o.B, Charles Hamilton, Blu, the Cool Kids, Dosage, Diggy, Asher Roth and Pharrell.
And far as his Child Rebel Soldier supergroup with Kane West and Pharrell, Lupe explained: “Everybody’s schedule is mad different, everybody’s in mad different places. I honestly think it’s something that went into a coma on the operating table, and it’s just in a coma in the other wing of the hospital, waiting to wake up.”