Lupe FiascoLupe Fiasco is never one to hold his tongue. Whether rapping circles around competitors or taking on his ever-antagonistic blogging foes, the Chicago-based MC tends to speak the truth in regards to the music industry. In a recent interview, Lupe encouraged young rappers to stay on their grind and maintain independence if at all possible.

"Stay independent, if you can finance yourself, you put in that work ethic and do it on your own, I definitely think you should try that route," Lupe said. "At least before you go into the professional kind of realm ... But each one has its pros and cons. Sometimes it comes down to finance. You can't say that to a broke n----. Somebody flashing 50, 60 thousand dollars -- that means a lot, especially these days ... You gotta do what's best for you but I definitely think that if you can muster it up and you got your focus and work ethic at least, you can pull something on your own."
Recent successes such as Drake have underscored the growing lack of influence for major labels in the U.S. By producing homemade mixtapes and playing shows, artists can make enough money to continue progression without giant marketing budgets. Another big recent example has been Jay Electronica. His 'Exhibit C' is a growing hit and was released directly to iTunes by the artist with no label marketing or influence.