Patrick Stump channeled his inner Kanye West to team up with Lupe Fiasco. The only way that sentence could be more Chicago-heavy is if it featured Ferris Bueller doing the "Super Bowl Shuffle" while eating a Maxwell Street Polish sandwich and watching "Oprah" reruns on WGN.
The Fall Out Boy frontman stepped behind the boards to produce a song called "Little Weapon," which will appear on Fiasco's upcoming The Cool (due December 18). And when we caught up with the two artists backstage at the mtvU Woodie Awards, they were more than ready to talk about the collaboration that has the Second City talking.
"He got his Kanye West on," Fiasco said of Stump. "It's a song called 'Little Weapon,' and it talks about child soldiers. The bulk of The Cool is kind of dark. It comes from a dark place. So 'Little Weapon' is about the coolness — so-called coolness — of child soldiers. It's a real ill record."
"I love how this one worked," Stump added. "We had a few snags, but in general, it was awesome, because I got to ask him about feel, like, 'What type of vibe do you want for this song?' And then I got to hear him take it to different places. I didn't have to steer too much, which is awesome. ... And I didn't sing on [the track], so this is a real test to see if I can make real music without my voice."
The two also joined forces at the Woodies later that night during Fiasco's performance, when Stump made a surprise appearance to sing the hook on "Superstar," the first single from The Cool. The song features a big beat that belies the darker message contained within.
"['Superstar' is] a macabre record," Fiasco said. "I took elements and compared them to other elements. Like, you'll see news footage of an execution, and you'll see people standing outside a death chamber with signs [that say], 'Yeah, Kill Him!' And those are the kind of things you see when you go to shows too. So it was putting those things together and then coming up with a weird story, like, 'What if getting into heaven were like getting into a club — a posh, super-hot club?' So it's kind of a dark record, but the bigness of the hook makes it this weird little thing."
Despite The Cool's dark, complicated territory, Fiasco said that making the album was anything but difficult — especially working with Stump.
"Man, it was easy," Fiasco laughed. "He's from Chicago, I'm from Chicago, [Shure] microphones are made in Chicago, so it just came about that way. Like I said, easy."