Lupe Fiasco is known not just for his lyrical dexterity, but for his often unpopular or controversial opinions. According to the Atlanta Black Star, Lupe recently offered the minority report on the whole world's favorite film, Black Panther.
“I mean, I like Black Panther. I don’t necessarily like film too much these days simply because I think I’m of a generation, I’m 36, so I was born in '82, and I’ve been able to see films be redone like entire genres or themes. The films be redone, so I was there for like the original Ghostbusters and then the Ghostbusters reboot, right? And then you get to see like all the whole cycle take place,” he said.
The hype around Black Panther is very very real. In fact, Twitter just confirmed that it is the most-tweeted about movie of all time. The anticipation for the film reached new levels and that hype train kept chugging along at full speed up to the box office opening and beyond. Its culture resonance is definitely one to note.
However, Lupe isn't really joining the Black Panther Hive. He gave the film a grade of an "A-" and stated that black people aren't really viewing the film objectively because of its cultural impact.
“So [Black Panther] still falls in the category of being an okay film,” he stated. “I don’t think that the acting was like super amazing. Because one, I don’t think we’re used to seeing black people on screen that much, and so when you do see a movie that’s all black folks, this for me specifically, there’s a bias."
Lupe said that he wasn't just judging the movie based on recent films, but based on where it fits into the greater continuity of film.
"How does it stand up as a film? If you compared it to something like Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, or something like that, just classic film, how does it compare to that?"
Kurosawa's Rashomon and Yojimbo, of course, are often considered two of the greatest films of all time.
He cited his favorite actors such as Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Leonardo DiCaprio, noting that these are among his favorites because white actors are usually the default in most films, and there aren't too many great black actors to choose from (other than Denzel, who Lupe said is "one of the greatest").
Lupe said he also wished some of his favorite black actors could have been in the film.
"When you think of really great African or African American actors who you would have really loved to have seen just kill, like Black Panther … they couldn't have been in Black Panther because they were already in other movies." Two of these he cites are Idris Elba, who is in Thor, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was in Doctor Strange.
You can check out the complete video of Lupe's thoughts on Black Panther below: