[artist id="2017563"]Lupe Fiasco[/artist] won’t back down. After he labeled U.S. President Barak Obama a “terrorist” and questioned U.S. foreign policy, the Chicago rapper appeared on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday to duke it out with conservative political pundit Bill O’Reilly.
Though it was thoroughly hyped before its broadcast, the five-and-a-half-minute pre-taped debate was a bit of a letdown for Rap Radar’s digital content director, Brian “B. Dot” Miller. “The thing is it wasn’t live; Lupe probably said a whole lot of things that were edited,” Miller said. “But the points that were expressed, I felt like he had a good argument. I wish it could’ve gone on a little bit longer, but that’s the power of TV.”
Adam Fleischer, XXL magazine’s music editor, also agreed that the way the debate was edited detracted from the end result. “I’m glad that he went on because O’Reilly just calls out rappers a lot, [and] then they don’t usually get a chance to speak for themselves,” he said. “[But] I would like to see the whole interview because it was so clear that things were chopped up. They were switching from clip to clip.”
Vibe magazine Senior Editor Clover Hope, on the other hand, didn’t mind the segments, though she, too, is interested in seeing what was left on the cutting-room floor. “I didn’t really notice [the editing] too much. I wish they would’ve pointed it to the Web though,” she said.
After Lupe made those controversial comments about Obama and declined the TV host’s initial invitation to appear on his Fox show, ‘O’Reilly called the rapper a “pinhead.” But last night Lupe stood strong, clarifying, then defending his position.
“The statement that I made, which was, ‘I believe that the biggest terrorist, Obama and the United States of America and its foreign policy, that was what the whole context of everything was,” Lupe pointed out on the show. “And it’s really just an expression of me trying to understand critically, the society.” O’Reilly, who is often critical of the president, came to Obama’s defense, saying that Lupe’s fans aren’t “exactly political science PHDs,” but rather “impressionable kids.”
O’Reilly added that the responsibility of the president is to protect the country and that Obama was doing that through “aggressive action.” Both agreed that the death of Osama Bin Laden was a legitimate action. Fiasco went on to assert that the aim of the war in Afghanistan was to go in and find Bin Laden, which O’Reilly then charged was in effect an oversimplification of the war.
“I thought he actually did a good job of holding his own and clarifying that point that he just wasn’t talking about Obama, just America as an institution,” Hope said about Lupe’s overall performance. “I just think it’s too complicated to reduce it to ‘Lupe thinks Obama is a terrorist.’ ”
The debate wrapped on a light-hearted note when O’Reilly and Lupe joked about changing the show’s name to “The Fiasco Factor.”
“I don’t think one necessarily got the best of the other,” Fleischer said. “O’Reilly had home-court advantage so he kind of controls the narrative, but Lupe held his own.”
“I don’t think anybody necessarily won that debate,” Hope agreed. “They kind of both talked.”
What did you think of Lupe’s performance on the Fox News show? Sound off in the comments!