Superstar (Lupe Fiasco song)

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Single by Lupe Fiasco featuring Matthew Santos
from the album Lupe Fiasco's The Cool
Released September 25, 2007
Format CD single
Recorded 2007
Length 4:49 (album version)
3:59 (radio version)
Label 1st & 15th, Atlantic
Songwriter(s) Lupe Fiasco, Soundtrakk, Prince Ben
Producer(s) Soundtrakk
Lupe Fiasco singles chronology
"The Emperor's Soundtrack"
"Hip Hop Saved My Life"

"The Emperor's Soundtrack"
"Hip Hop Saved My Life"

"Superstar" is a song performed by rapper Lupe Fiasco featuring Matthew Santos. It is the first single off his 2007 album Lupe Fiasco's The Cool. iTunes released "Superstar" on September 25, 2007 along with a radio version of "Dumb It Down."

On November 5, 2007 the official video was released and it was directed by Hype Williams. It premiered on BET's 106 & Park on November 23 and on February 19 it moved up to the number one spot on the countdown. As of December 31, it appeared at number 84 on BET's Notarized: Top 100 Videos of 2007 countdown. The song is featured on the soundtrack of NFL Tour and recently NHL 2K10.[1] Star baseball player Hanley Ramírez used the song as his walk-up music at Florida Marlins home games.

In the song Lupe yells "FREE CHILLY" that is a reference to another song on his album. The song "Free Chilly" is about Lupe's business partner "Chilly" who was sentenced to 44 years in jail during the recording of "The Cool".

Critical reception[edit]

Most critics were positive towards the single. Complex ranked it at 95 on best songs of the decade. Bill Lamb, representing the music website, awarded the song four-and-a-half stars, and gave primary praise to "Lupe Fiasco's dense lyrical meditation on life in the spotlight", "Matthew Santos' haunting vocals", and the "immediate setup of the melodic hook";[2] however, he did emphasize Santos' vocal delivery to be similar to that of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin — of which both Fiasco and Santos are reportedly fans — citing it as both a positive and negative characteristic of the song.[3] Pitchfork, in an otherwise positive outlook, expressed a similar sentiment: "The hooky first single [is] "Superstar", with Fiasco protégé Matthew Santos (who has probably heard a few Coldplay albums) playing Adam Levine to Fiasco's Kanye West",[4] thus comparing the song's style to that of "Heard 'Em Say", a Kanye West song released in 2005. However, music editor Nick Levine argues that "the hazy, gospel-inflected chorus, sung by Chicago folkie Matthew Santos, is just as memorable, suggesting everyone but Kanye should be quaking in his diamond-studded Reeboks."[5] Blues&Soul felt that the song "blended Lupe's characteristic easy vocal flow with a pleasantly lumbering piano-led beat, a soulful hook, and the odd sample and sound effect."[6] In a review for Yahoo Music, Jaime Gill wrote: "'Superstar' is a melancholy look at celebrity, with Fiasco delivering a languid rap about the insecurities that linger behind fame's brittle armour. Its set to a low-key piano part and a piercing, haunting chorus sung by one Matthew Santos. In one brilliant line, Lupe describes the luxuries of celebrity while skewering its loneliness: "chauffeur, chauffeur, come and take me away." It may be too subtle, slow and sad to be a hit in today's hip hop climate, which would be deeply depressing."[7]

Chart performance[edit]

On December 27, "Superstar" was moved to BBC Radio 1's A-List after being made Record of the Week by both Sara Cox and Jo Whiley. As a result, the song debuted on the UK Singles Chart in the top ten at number 7 on downloads alone, the next week, it climbed to its peak of number 4. It became Lupe Fiasco's highest charting single there to date, outperforming both of his previous biggest hits, "Kick, Push" and "Daydreamin'", both of which made the top thirty there. It peaked at #13 on the Billboard Pop Charts, and #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Lupe Fiasco's first Top Ten single.[8] It also surpassed the success of his first single on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, peaking at #19, and was his first song to appear on the Rhythmic Top 40, peaking at #8.

The song was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the Grammy Awards of 2009. It was also nominated for 2008 Teen Choice Music: Rap/Hip-Hop Song award. Additionally, "Superstar" was the theme song of Fox8's Football Superstar.

Music video[edit]

The video depicts a Mercedes-Benz S-Class stopping at the red carpet. Two girls leave the car. Director Hype Williams[citation needed] manages to slip in two characters from Lupe Fiasco's The Cool. The Cool with his characterizing skeleton hand and The Streets with her dollar signs in her eyes. The Cool apparently sold his soul to The Game for fame and fortune. In return, The Game's wife The Streets made him The Coolest and gave him the Mercedes as well as his bling and the gold key he has around his neck. The Video itself has been nominated for a MTV's VMA for Best Hip Hop Video.

Other versions[edit]

There is an official remix to the song, featuring Matthew Santos, Young Jeezy & T.I.. A recent performance on MTV was made, with Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy performing the vocals of the end of the song.[9][10]

A third version of the song was performed by Fiasco and Santos on BBC Radio and featured an entirely acoustic instrumental without any percussion accompaniment. It was unofficially released on the internet[11] and later officially released (20 October 2008) on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge – Volume 3.


Chart (2007–08) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[12] 32
Canadian Hot 100 46
German Singles Chart 39
Irish Singles Charts[13] 2
Turkish Top 20 Chart[14] 4
UK Singles Chart 4
UK R&B Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[15] 10
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[16] 19
U.S. Billboard Rap Songs[17] 3
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs[18] 14


  1. ^ "2K Beats: NHL 2K10". 2K Sports. Archived from the original on 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  2. ^ Lupe Fiasco featuring Matthew Santos - Superstar -
  3. ^ Lupe Fiasco featuring Matthew Santos - Superstar -
  4. ^ Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Lupe Fiasco: The Cool
  5. ^ Music - Single Reviews - Lupe Fiasco ft. Matthew Santos: 'Superstar' - Digital Spy
  7. ^ Review of Lupe Fiasco - 'Superstar'
  8. ^
  9. ^ YouTube - Broadcast Yourself
  10. ^ YouTube - Lupe Fiasco - Superstar ft Patrick Stump
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]. January 13, 2008.
  13. ^ [3]. January 13, 2008.
  14. ^ Turkish Top 20 Chart Archived 2009-03-05 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ [4]. February 21, 2008.
  16. ^ [5]. January 18, 2008.
  17. ^ [6]. January 13, 2008.
  18. ^ - Superstar