On this earlier, previously unheard version of the No. 2 Hot 100 hit, Lupe rhymes about "wishes to mend a broken heart " and subject matter that's a little more complicated than Bobby Ray's tale of working his way up from a job at Subway to rap stardom. "Can't be peaceful with a pistol in your face," Lupe says. "Can't beat the people so you're picking on their place."
This isn't the first time we've heard Lupe's original version of a song that ended up in his labelmate's hands. B.o.B's breakout single, "Nothin' On You," was first recorded by Lupe and rejected by Atlantic, something that he later told The Guardian caused him to become "super-depressed, lightly suicidal, at moments medium suicidal -- and if not suicidal, willing to just walk away from it all completely."
Of course, losing two hits to a young up and comer didn't hurt Lupe that much: After his album "Lasers" finally dropped in March after a long wait, the set moved 204,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
So this basically tells me:
a) Bobby Ray kinda owes Lupe his mainstream career (...kinda)
b) Atlantic is way more manufactured an operation than was evident, despite their artists not being of that mold.