Katie Couric Writes: I'm probably not the first person who comes to mind when you think of rap and hip-hop, but I've managed to chat with some of the biggest names in that biz. I've interviewed Drake, 50 Cent, and, of course, Lil Wayne, who still calls me Miss Katie. But this is the first time I've talked with a rapper on a mission.
Lupe Fiasco, born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, grew up on Chicago's West Side in the '80s in a particularly rough neighborhood filled with drug dealers, prostitution and gang activity. Despite the chaos outside, his home was a kind of oasis where reading was encouraged, and the shelves were lined with books and National Geographic magazines. Lupe credits his father, who he says was a kind of Renaissance man, with teaching him about music, art, karate and the world around him. Believe it or not, Lupe was a big Benny Goodman fan!
At just 18, Lupe was discovered by Jay Z. Four albums and a Grammy later, Lupe is widely viewed as a pioneer of the conscious hip-hop movement, his socially aware lyrics described by one writer as "music to think to, not to drink to." His latest single, from his upcoming album "Tetsuo & Youth," is no exception.