Lupe Fiasco Elaborates On Retirement, "This Game Wears On You"

ImageLupe Fiasco is only two albums deep into his budding rap career, but he continues to talk of retirement plans after his next album.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the eclectic Chi-town rapper says there is an 85 percent chance that his next CD, tentatively titled LupEND, will be his last.

"This game wears on you. It tears you down," he said. "It's perpetual motion for some people who've achieved a level of independence, like Madonna and Jay-Z - they don't need to do music anymore. But there's people who need it. And in that need, that's when it's tough and it tears you to pieces."

In a previous interview Lupe said "Im'a always perform until the day I die. It's just the industry of recorded music doesn't appeal to me."

Although his contract with Atlantic Records includes three more albums, the 25-year-old rapper is willing to take a loss by breaking his contract early.

And how does he expect to get out of his contract?

"There's renegotiations and all types of other plays and ploys that you can put into effect," he said. "I'll pay Atlantic back or whatever. It's like a student loan."

His second album, Lupe Fiasco's The Cool, was released late in 2007, and landed at No. 15 and sold 250,00 copies thus far, according to Nielsen's SoundScan.

Though the skate boarding rapper is well-known for his rap posture that is closer to nerd than thug, The Cool centers around cinematic street tales, and Fiasco says he has the experiences to back them up. While he doesn't glorify guns or project himself as a scowling gangster, Fiasco said using weapons was part of staying alive in the ghetto.

"When the gangbangers would try to pull it, I was like, 'Yo, I will fuck you up," he said. "And if you wanna call your cousin, call him. I'll call me! I'll call me right now.' We were shooting TEC-9s when we were babies, so the whole gangsta image, that ain't nothing."

"When I was growing up, there was a crack house next door to us and they were trying to expand," he added. "My father was like, 'Are you serious?' He took his gun, walked next door, and said, 'You're done,' while I aimed my gun out of the window. I was 13 or 14 and to see that, a lot of the facade and the upkeep [of trying] to impress people was eliminated very early for me."