Lupe Fiasco was repping his hometown this weekend as the speaker for the “2013 Mass Black Male Graduation and Transition to Manhood” ceremony in Chicago. Instead of the normal, gooey congratulations speech we have all come to expect at HS grad events, the Chi-town rapper took aim and fired—all over Chicago public schools.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the "The Show Goes On" rapper took the podium and got straight to the point:
“Congratulations, you have graduated from one of the most terrible, substandard school systems in the entire world. You have just spent the last 12 years receiving one of the worst educations on earth. You are at least four, five steps behind people in other countries that are younger than you.”
Fiasco is a product of the Chicago public school system himself, which has a history of alarmingly low graduation rates—although they are on track to set a record high of 63 percent this year. The rate was closer to 44 percent when Fiasco was in the system.
But the rapper/producer was not all doom and gloom. He also impressed upon the graduates the importance of understanding and respecting their manhood:
“For young black men, it is one the last things that we have and one of the last things that we can control. Manhood is connected to humanity.”
Additionally, he gifted each graduate in attendance $100.
Yesterday was hardly a first for the opinionated and very vocal artist. In 2011, Fiasco refereed to fellow Chicagoan, President Obama, as "the biggest terrorist" and was kicked off-stage in January after making additional negative comments about the president at a pre-inauguration event.
The "Battle Scars" rapper heads "The Lupe Fiasco Foundation," which provides "positive youth development programming" for inner city youth.