For Lupe Fiasco super-fans the release of the cerebral Chicago rapper’s eagerly anticipated third album has been a long, dramatic and incident-packed saga. The album was the subject of numerous skirmishes between Fiasco and a label (Atlantic) he felt was pressuring him to dumb down his music to appeal to a mainstream audience. In a particularly ironic twist, Atlantic rejected Fiasco’s version of a Sneezingtons-produced track called “Nothin’ On You” that went on to become a huge hit for B.O.B.
The fans who petitioned and campaigned for Lasers’ release have reason to rejoice, however, as the long, strange story of Lasers’ trip to record store shelves (those still exist somewhere, right?) has a happy ending, as the album surprised the industry and certainly Atlantic by debuting at number one with over two hundred and forty thousand copies sold. Good guys, it seems, sometimes do finish first, literarily and metaphorically.