Hip Hop Saved My Life

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"Hip-Hop Saved My Life"
Single by Lupe Fiasco featuring Nikki Jean
from the album Lupe Fiasco's The Cool
Released March 18, 2008
Recorded 2007
Genre Alternative hip hop
Length 4:03
Label 1st & 15th, Atlantic
Writer(s) Wasalu Muhammad Jaco (Lupe Fiasco), N. Jean, Soundtrakk
Producer(s) Soundtrakk
Lupe Fiasco featuring Nikki Jean singles chronology
"Hip Hop Saved My Life"
"Paris, Tokyo"

"Hip-Hop Saved My Life" is a viral video[1] single from Lupe Fiasco's second album, Lupe Fiasco's The Cool. The track features vocals from Nikki Jean, the lead singer of Nouveau Riche.


The single is a heartfelt song that tells the story of an underground rap artist, his personal problems, and his struggle and desire to achieve success. The rapper composes a song with a doggerel structure and a hook, "Somethin', somethin', somethin' / Stack that Cheese", street slang for making money. Author Charlotte Pence argues that Fiasco achieves simple complexity in the song, rebelling against simplistic lyrics while simultaneously exploiting them.[2]

It was revealed on MTV that the song was partially based on the life and career of Southern rapper Slim Thug and dedicated to Bun B.[3]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Houston's own Dr. Teeth, was released on March 18, 2008. The video recounts the story of a young up-and-coming rapper and the obstacles he struggles to overcome. The video includes appearances by Slim Thug, Willie D, Nikki Jean, K-Rino, Paul Wall, and Bun B with Lupe Fiasco. In one scene towards the beginning of the video, a clip from the video for "Superstar" (another one of Fiasco's songs) can briefly be seen playing on a television set.

Chart performance[edit]

It has first appeared on Billboard as of May 31, charting at #25 on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart, then peaking at #20 a week later.[4]


  1. ^ Reid, Shaheem; Rodriguez, Jayson (January 28, 2008). "Mixtape Monday: Lupe Fiasco Plans His Cool Viral Video; Joe Budden Compares Jay-Z To A 'Bully'". MTV.com. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ Pence, Charlotte (2011). The Poetics of American Song Lyrics. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. 14–16. ISBN 978-1-61703-156-4. 
  3. ^ Rodriguez, Jayson; Dotiwala, Jasmine (April 11, 2008). "Lupe Fiasco's Latest Single, 'Hip-Hop Saved My Life,' Honors Southern Rap Heroes Bun B, Slim Thug". MTV.com. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]