When trying to poke fun at your peers, it helps to have your facts straight. But The Daily Princetonian appeared not to have gotten that memo when it attempted to use lyrics in a new Lupe Fiasco song to insult Cornell.
In the song “Hood Now,” off his new album “Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1,” the rapper references philosopher and activist Dr. Cornel West, who is currently a professor of African American Studies at Princeton University.
“Ivy League was running really well then / They slipped up and let Cornell in / It’s hood now,” Fiasco says on the track, according to lyrics website RapGenius.com. According to the site, this is a reference both to West and to the University.
“The Cornel reference, of course, refers to both the teacher and the university,” says the author of a post on the newspaper's blog, The Prox.
While the paper seized the opportunity to make fun of Princeton’s rival, the logic of the supposed “diss” doesn’t pan out, according to Corey Ryan Earle ’07, an unofficial Cornell historian. Although the University was founded much later than the other members of the Ancient Eight, it was never “let into” the league, but rather established the conference with the other Ivies in 1954.
“The only reason it was these eight schools was simply because they tended to compete against each other in most major sports … and happened to share similar values,” Earle said in an email.
Despite the potential West jibe, in truth Fiasco is a great admirer of the professor’s work. In May, the rapper performed “Hood Now” at an event celebrating West’s retirement from Princeton. He told the audience that his music has been greatly influenced by West, according to The Daily Princetonian.