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.”