Child Rebel Soldier: A Promising Supergroup That Never Materialized

Arguably one of hip hop's greatest supergroup moments was Child Rebel Soldier, consisting of Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and Pharrell Williams. Unfortunately, the trio's run was short-lived, releasing only two songs and a remix as a group in its three-year duration. Though each carried on to achieve great success following their dissolution, the idea of Child Rebel Soldier still was exciting for fans. Before joining together, each of them had previously worked with one another on various tracks. Kanye featured on Pharrell's "Number One," The Neptunes produced Lupe's "I Gotcha," and Kanye and Lupe teamed up on "Touch The Sky." While we did not get much music from them together, the group marked a promising union between three of hip-hop's most creative and eccentric minds that helped shape the genre. Today, we are looking into a brief history of the promising supergroup that was Child Rebel Soldier.

Read More: Pharrell Allegedly Has "Three Albums" Worth Of New Music

Formation Of A Hip Hop Supergroup

Child Rebel Soldier first emerged in 2007 with "Us Placers," their first song as a group. The Lupe Fiasco-produced track was included on Kanye West's Can't Tell Me Nothing mixtape that preceded Graduation. Originally intended for a Thom Yorke-inspired mixtape, Lupe sent the beat to Kanye and The Streets, who never responded. Pharrell eventually hopped on the track and Child Rebel Soldier was born. Lupe told BBC News in 2008 that forming the group "was Pharrell's idea one day in the studio 'cause we're all similar. Same likes and same dislikes, same goals and aspirations. So on that level, we wanted to create some music." Pharrell also came up with the name Child Rebel Soldier.

A Short-Lived Run

Following "Us Placers," Child Rebel Soldier toyed with the possibility of an album. Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell opened for Kanye West on his 2008 Glow in the Dark Tour. That same year, Pharrell's band, N.E.R.D. recruited Child Rebel Soldier and Pusha T for the remix of "Everybody Nose." Rumblings of a potential album continued into 2010. Lupe Fiasco told DJ Green Lantern that Pharrell hit him up about finishing the CRS project, with 4 songs completed. 

That same year, CRS's last song, "Don't Stop" arrived as part of Kanye West's "GOOD Friday" series in promotion of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Upon its release, Lupe Fiasco spoke to MTV News about how the song was an older recording and an experiment in pinpointing their group sound: "That song is like a song that we did in the midst of being CRS. When we were actually going to put out an album and just really wanted to test records and see if we should do more records like that, or should do more records like 'Us Placers.' We were just trying to figure out what we should do and that was one of the experiments that was bananas."

Despite positive reception and support for their music, Lupe told MTV that it is the fans are responsible for the materialization of a Child Rebel Soldier album. "If people want it, then we'll do it. But if the demand is not there, it'll just be as we get to it," he said. Lupe also elaborated that he, Kanye, and Pharrell were prioritizing their solo works. "It's going to take a lot of time to come off our schedules," he explained. Unfortunately, the Child Rebel Soldier album never came to fruition.

Read More: Kanye West Raps "Never Let Me Down" For Pharrell For The First Time

An Open Ending To Child Rebel Soldier

After years and no updates on Child Rebel Soldier, Lupe Fiasco officially declared that "The CRS group is canceled." "Done. Not happening. Stop Asking," he said in a 2013 tweet. He later specified in a 2020 tweet that he thinks that Kanye and Pharrell have moved on from the group. He proposed a new idea. "I think a new trio of young MCs/producers should pick up where we left off and do it. CRS re-casted. I'd support that," he said.

For many years, there had been no developments in the Child Rebel Soldier saga until Lupe Fiasco placed the group album as "TBD" in a 2022 update of all his upcoming releases. Sounding too good to be true, a fan tweeted Lupe for some old CRS music in 2023. Lupe replied with a screenshot of a text conversation between him and Tyler, The Creator, sharing some "rough demo sketches [he] did for CRS." "Tyler has them," Lupe said in the latest update about the group's future. Overall, Child Rebel Soldier was a promising supergroup that never fully materialized but gave fans glimpses of their full potential over the years.

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The post Child Rebel Soldier: A Promising Supergroup That Never Materialized appeared first on HotNewHipHop.


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