LUPE GETS IT DONE
On the train ride this morning from DC to NYC, Lupe Fiasco did a radio tour via cellphone promoting the MTV documentary.
LUPE GETS IT DONE
A QUESTION FROM JAY LAVENDER
I have a WHAT IF for YOU
What if some guy named KENNA, inspired by an unsuccessful attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, his Ethiopian heritage and his father, decided to return to climb Kili to raise awareness for the global water crisis?
And what if he got a few friends to climb with him and then a few of their friends to run the project with him and then they all got a bunch of friends and strangers, many with no climbing experience, to agree to go with them?
And what if the group bonded effortlessly through a common purpose, stories, laughter and striving physically side-by-side?
And what if people all over the world, intrigued by something that wasn’t cynical, selfish or political in these difficult times, followed these people, strangers 7 days ago and now friends for life, as they trekked together up an African mountain with a film crew, photographers and a writer watching and capturing every step…not because these people wanted the attention but because it was the only way they could figure out how to cut through all the chatter and get YOUR ATTENTION?
And what if people started paying attention and learning more and talking about the global water crisis with their friends, family, coworkers and even strangers?
And what if all those people realized they could make a difference?
And what if they decided not to wait for someone else to do it but instead decided to donate their valuable time, energy and hard earned money to solving the problem?
And what if one day, we were all able to look back and say when that moment was when we said, “I had no idea that 1 billion people don’t have access to clean water or that 7 billion gallons of water a day leaks out of America’s decrepit infrastructure?”
And what if those same people, tired of our politicians playing shell games with our tax dollars to get reelected, pressured our elected leaders to do something about it since it affects each one of us every day?
And what if people were put to work, not some hypothetical time in the future, but this year, fixing and designing and engineering and rebuilding the pipes and system that brings water to our taps every day?
And what if people were inspired by SOTSK to build on PUR’s innovations and come up with even more ways to purify drinking water?
And what if our main stream media decided to quit broadcasting nonsense and started reporting on the positive things in the world?
And what if one day we could celebrate that we had collectively come together, as Lupe had invited us—danced together?
And what if all of that happened just because one guy named KENNA DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING and his friends joined him and then strangers became friends and then it became so much bigger than a group of people climbing a mountain because there were so many people who cared as much as Kenna that the collective positivity became an unstoppable force determined to help our fellow men, women, children?
And what if in doing that, we changed the world for the better and turned the global water crisis into the global water nuisance?
And what if one day you could smile to yourself as you were drifting off to sleep, knowing that YOU PLAYED YOUR PART to help turn these what ifs into reality?
- Jay Lavender, 3:45am, Jan 11, in a tent on the side of Kili
Lupe and Simon’s Dialogue on Water
At 16,000 feet on Mount Kilimanjaro, in the middle of a blizzard, Lupe and I sat down to connect on the clean water crisis as part of Summit on the Summit. Together, Lupe and I have joined a team of celebrities, influencers and educators to help raise awareness and funds for the over 1 billion people who lack access to clean water. Learn more at www.summitonthesummit.com
Hey man, so, we’re currently at 16,000 feet, 5 days-in on our Kilimanjaro climb. It’s been tough for sure, but for a critically important cause, clean water. Can you talk about why you’re taking time from your busy schedule to do this?
I’m always drawn to important causes that positively affect the world. It’s just something that I can’t resist. It’s my human nature to be a humanitarian.
Is that part of your up bringing? How did a Chicago boy get caught up in these global issues?
My father and mother always made sure we (my family) was always in tune with what was going on around the world, beyond our environment. Whether it be through access to a collection of National Geographic Magazines or a steady diet of foreign culture via the martial arts or music, we’ve always had this awareness of the world around us and what was happening there.
Before the climb, we went to a school where most of the children were suffering from waterborne illness, how has that experience shaped the way you think about this issue?
It solidified the necessity of access to clean water. The visit put a face on the crisis, which is something that is hard to forget.
Speaking to the educators and other influencers on this climb, what have you learned so far?
The deeper struggles of actually enacting policy surrounding issues of crisis. Whether it be mobilization of mass support from among the public, to effectively implementing programs on the ground in the areas most in need. It has a “Pandora’s Box” feel about it.
How has this experience changed the way that you view water, poverty and other causes and how you can address them?
Less of a “change” that has taken place, but more of a reaffirming and deeper education of the specifics that surround these issues, from a governmental level to personal level and every arena in between. This gives me more effective ammunition and more accurate weapon to fight with.
You’re a hip hop star, what do you think is the role of musicians and celebrities in making a difference?
Simply to bring the eyes and ears of our fan bases to the issues in a way that our fans appreciate and feel motivated to act on their own behalf.
If you could ask your fans to do one thing to solve the water challenge, what would it be?
I hope that they inform themselves and others so that they are able to create effective solutions to the problem. And if the most effective and doable solution for them is to donate money then so be it, through informing themselves and others, they may find other ways to get involved. They can write a letter to their senator or to President Obama. They can rally their friends. They can save water in their own home. What matters is that they act.
Cool man. Dinner time.
Yup. Final push to the summit. Let’s do it.
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER - Elizabeth & Lupe
Climb Day 3
At breakfast, Elizabeth said, “I’m nervous about downhill topday”. Lupe didn’t miss a beat, telling her, “Let’s stick together Go-Go.”
After they dominated 15,000 feet at the Lava Tower, they headed into a very tricky steep, rocky, muddy downhill section. A quarter of the way down, Elizabeth’s trekking pole snapped in half. It was the worst point in the climb so far to lose a pole since we needed our poles for balance as we climbed down the rocks. Without missing a beat, Lupe turned around and gave me Elizabeth his poles and kept going.
As they were nearing the end of our their trek, still downhill, and very slick, muddy and rocky, the girls and boys had separated and Elizabeth was the lead girl when she took an epic spill, feet shooting out from under her and slammed down on the rocks.
Melissa and her guide Wilfred were instantly at her side…thankfully she just a bit scraped up…a bruised/skinned shin and elbow.
Suddenly Lupe came climbing back up the trail. “Go-Go, you alright?!?” Liz responded she was to which Lupe replied, “It’s me and you the rest of the way.”
They climbed down the rest of the way together.
A bit later while they were in the meal tent, Elizabeth pulled out an arrowhead shaped piece of obsidian rock (Lupe had been collecting a few along the way) and gave it to him as a thank you for the day.
CLIMBER BLOG: Lupe Fiasco
WHY I JOINED SOTSK
One of the most utopian and challenging phenomenon of man is the process of trying to realize the ideal. To sculpt the tangible from what is the ether of the mind. It manifests in the artistic mind as a vision and translates in the world via the specific talents of the artist as a song, a painting, a poem, a sculpture, a building, etc. The ambitious among us try and take a crack at it in every category. I think the category that best fits this trek is dance. Expressing oneself through the movement of one’s own body. An inaudible rhythm that silently screams a message to the audience. A public sacrifice of sorts. Putting ones own body directly in the firing line of critics, risking humiliation and to the extreme even creating enemies of friends and friends of strangers. All because of a dance. The steps of this dance in particular are simple enough, one foot in front of the other. The stage is a harsh and meandering, chaotic thing. The cast is a mix of Juilliard graduates, street trained, pop-lock champions and downright hopeless amateurs. The music is all natural thunderclaps and raindrop drumsticks upon cold plastic rooftops. But the message is the real star of the show. The underlying manifesto is one of awe inspiring pageantry fit for carnival in the streets of Brazil or the main drags of New Orleans. It’s classic and new, unchanging but full of progression. Alvin Alley meets The Court Waltz. A “dance macabre” and the unfortunate ones amongst the skeletons are ignorance and complacency. So What’s The Message?!?
Let’s Change The World For The Better.
Inspire a generation to aspire to activate its humanity. Inform the uninformed and more importantly those deemed “uninformable.” An open-ended challenge to this world, and the one that was before it, to dance to the beat of a different drummer. Motivate the wall flowers and the rhythm-less to dominate the middle of the dance hall with uncompromising confidence.
So there you have it. And the most poignant and at the same time the most hopelessly corny wrap I can think of to finish this off is…
May I have this dance?
- Lupe Fiasco (Day 3 Camp, Group 2 Meal Tent)