The Instrumental

From Linkinpedia

"The Instrumental" is the sixth track on Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor, the debut studio album by Lupe Fiasco. The song features guest vocals by Jonah Matranga of Far and production by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park.

"The Instrumental"
Album-Lupe Fiasco s Food And Liquor.jpeg
Song by Lupe Fiasco from the album Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor
Working title Never Lies
Recorded 2005
Released September 19, 2006
Format Digital, CD, Vinyl
Length 3:26
Samples Far - Nestle
Writer Wasalu Jaco, Michael Kenji Shinoda
Producer Mike Shinoda
Label Atlantic Records

Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor track listing
  1. Intro
  2. Real (feat. Sarah Green)
  3. Just Might Be OK (feat. Gemini)
  4. Kick, Push
  5. I Gotcha
  6. The Instrumental (feat. Jonah Matranga)
  7. He Say She Say (feat. Gemini & Sarah Green)
  8. Sunshine
  9. Daydreamin' (feat. Jill Scott)
  10. The Cool
  11. Hurt Me Soul
  12. Pressure (feat. Jay-Z)
  13. American Terrorist (feat. Matthew Santos)
  14. The Emperor's Soundtrack
  15. Kick, Push II
  16. Outro


In 2005, after Mike Shinoda and Lupe Fiasco collaborated on the Fort Minor song "Spraypaint & Inkpens", Mike was invited to produce a song for Lupe's debut album Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor.

The fan site (Fort Minor Unofficial) interviewed Lupe in May 2005.[1] He said, "Well...I originally met Mike at an MTV Video Music Awards after-party...we were introduced through a mutual friend...I told him I was a huge LP fan and I just so happened to have a bag of my mixtapes with me...which now that I think about it may have seemed a little odd...but I gave him one, we exchanged contact info and we kept in sparse contact after that. I found out from Jay-Z, another mutual friend, sometime after that Mike was putting together a solo project and that he was Co-Executive producing on it as he is doing on my album. Jay was like it would be hot if I was apart of the project and set it up and that was that..."

The song produced by Mike for Lupe was originally called "Never Lies" and had guest vocals by Jonah Matranga, who had also worked with Fort Minor on the songs "Where'd You Go" and "Red To Black". His vocals were actually recorded simultaneously with the Fort Minor songs as Matranga explained, "Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park had literally called me on tour the first time he met me and he had heard a song I had written called “Pollyana.” I don’t know how he heard it, but I think he liked Far actually. So we got to be friends and I was producing Fort Minor while he was producing the Lupe track. So I came down in one session and did both of those things. Those two things have bought me more schoolyard credit then fifteen years of hard labor (chuckles.) And ironically Pony is now being spun a lot on Live 105 and Sacramento radio. Like way more than a Far song ever was spun. I really feel like we as a band and me as an artist are just made of these accidents which is very funny to me. I wish I could say “Yeah, me and Lupe were hanging out…” But no. I never met Lupe Fiasco. I would love to. I think that record is great. I don’t like his new shit, but I like the first shit and I want more man. I wanna be the man going to Gwen Stefani. I’m totally in. Bring on the hip hop artists. It’s sooo fun, cause as a singer, I don’t get to be like a bassist and jam with other people. I’m a singer, you can’t really do that. So hip hop guys, I wanna write hooks."[2]

The track samples the song "Nestle" by Far (Jonah's band).[3]

An unmastered version of the album was leaked sometime in April 2006. In an interview with Okayplayer on April 14, 2006, Lupe said:

"So My Album Got Leaked.... hey sh*t unmixed version of Food & Liquor got leaked i assume its on ******** and bittorrent and all that sh*t...its stuff like this that makes you wanna just be like fu*k it...lotta time and money and bullsh*t went into creating that album...over the years I've had my people die, get locked up, my company get shut down, weak ass niggas in my own crew turn against me and just when things are starting to look good...for example yesterday Kick, Push debuted on TRL...I dont know if ya'll knew that...I was watching it in a studio in Philly as I was waiting on Jill Scott to come perform on my was beautiful man!...Jill laid some amazing vocals...crazy...also learned my album was dropping simultaneously in the UK cuz the buzz was so*t dont happen like to be riding on that high and not 4 hours later learn that everything i worked for just got leaked all over the internet kinda had me fu*ked up...niggas at the label scrambling but its futile...the album might get pushed backed...niggas really dont know now...but hey what can u do fughettaboutit...if u can find is my gift to you...Enjoy! hard feelings...take it as Fahrenheit 1/15 Part 6: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor....hahaha...minus jay-z, Pharrell, Jill Scott, 3-6 Mafia and the way Kanye is not on the album rapping or production wise...all records are by Pro, Soundtrakk, Needlz, Mike Shinoda & The everything happens for a reason and God wills what He wills when He wills so i gotta take this one and keep it moving...I'm goin to take some time out and refocus on some other things for a minute...maybe my sneaker and toy stuff...eventually Godwilling get back in the stu and get back to work...i hope it doesnt hit the streets as a bootleg...but I got this real deep feeling that it will so I'm writing off Food & Liquor as you know it or may have heard it and starting over...thanx for the support & the love...stay tuned...FNF UP!!!"[4][5]

The album's release was postponed so Lupe could record new songs, new verses and make changes to the already existing songs.[6] The title of "Never Lies" was changed to "The Instrumental" and its intro was extended.[7]

The album finally came out on September 19, 2006.

Music Video

An official music video for "The Instrumental" was created in 2006 by Impakt Studio and directed by Christopher Adams, also known as Chris & Blaq. The video was shelved and remained unreleased until October 31, 2014, when it was uploaded to Impakt Studio's official YouTube channel.[8]

The release of the video was followed by an statement by the director:

"Back in 2006 Impakt studio was tasked with producing several projects for 1st & 15th artist Lupe Fiasco which included music videos for Kick Push, He say She say, Emperors Soundtrack, as well as support for album cover shoots, EPK’s and commercials. It was a great relationship for us. 1st & 15th C.E.O. Chilly really gave us total creative control over the projects and Lupe really liked what we were doing. I remember Lupe looking around our studio office and seeing anime dvd’s, action figures, skateboards, posters of Che Guevara and smiling saying “I know i’m in the right place”. So we did Kick Push and I remember Lupe was at the Grammy’s while we were finishing it up and we sent him a private link to a snippet of the video hosted on our server.

When all of a sudden our phone started blowing up it was Atlantic records, the snippet had leaked on the internet. A hacker who was a Lupe fan got into our server and posted the snippet online and also locked us out of our server! It was chaos we had to call the host company to shut down our site! Soon after, Kick Push was released. It was doing very well so Lupe put a poll on his myspace page, which at the time he would personally manage and respond to his fans to the tune of about 2 hours a day, the poll was for the fans to decide what video he would do next and overwhelmingly it was for the song American Terrorist, a volatile song to say the least but one of my favorites. So we came up with a Crazy Idea for the video which im not going to tell because id like to use the concept one day, and sent it to Atlantic records…they were not happy with it. It was an idea that would definitely be controversial and Lupe loved it.

They said they would think about it and suggested we do a video for “The Instrumental” instead which I think they thought was a “safe” song. Boy were they wrong. There was a lot going on in the world and “The Instrumental” was a perfect soundtrack for what was going on. There was the Abu ghraib scandal, Saddam Hussein was convicted of crimes against humanity, then President Bush signs a law renewing the Patriot Act, including a signing statement stating that he does not consider himself bound by its requirement to tell Congress how the law is being used, the fiasco of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, Google bought Youtube to name a few.

So we decided to make “The Instrumental” a visual nightmare of the media’s ever growing grasp over its consumers, a message that I feel Atlantic wasn’t ready for. So the video was shelved never to see light of day. Until today.

footnote the final video was going to end with a shot of some kids opening Christmas presents and one of the presents is the glowing cube seen in the video. That part was never filmed."[9]


Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
The Instrumental (Featuring Jonah Matranga) Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor 3:26 2005 September 19, 2006
  • Features vocals by Jonah Matranga.
  • Samples Far's "Nestle".
The Instrumental Feat. Mike Shinoda (Snippet 1:16) Selections From Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor 1:18 2005 2006
Never Lies Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor (Leaked Version) 3:30 2005
  • Shorter intro.
  • DJ scratch cuts off abruptly and go straight to the synth.
  • Leaked in April 2006.


Lupe Fiasco performed the song sporadically between 2007 and 2011, and even once by fan request in 2016, but Mike has never joined him to perform it.


  • Vocals - Lupe Fiasco
  • Vocals – Jonah Matranga


  • Producer – Mike Shinoda
  • Executive-producer – Chill, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco
  • Executive-producer [Co-executive Producer] – Darrale Jones
  • Mastered By – Chris Gehringer
  • Mastered By [Assisted By] – Will Quinell
  • Mixed By – Craig Bauer
  • Mixed By [Assistant] – James Auwarter
  • Mixed By [Assistant] – Ryan Neuschafer
  • Recorded By – Greg Magers


  • Management – Chill, Jason Salvador



External Links