This song finds Fiasco rapping from the perspectives of a number of individuals who have been battling cancer. It opens with several narratives from cancer survivors, including R&B singer-songwriter Charlie Wilson and The Roots affiliate Greg Porn, before the Chicago rapper steps in and launches a lyrical attack over Soundz and Duke Da Monsta's frantic production.
Fiasco's YouTube page provided a description of the song:
"Mission" is a track to empower those facing cancer, revere cancer survivors and remember those who have passed to due to cancer related illnesses. With an inspiring introduction from various cancer survivors telling their story, anchored by legendary singer/songwriter and cancer survivor Charlie Wilson, "Mission" has Lupe Fiasco expressing stories of the emotional burden of cancer, while also working to uplift those in an effort to help fight the disease.
The song served as a launching pad for Fiasco's's partnership with the organization Stand Up To Cancer, a grassroots movement which aims to accelerate the pace of cancer research through funding.
Speaking on NewsNation With Tamron Hall, Fiasco explained the background to the song "My grandmother passed away from cancer,. It was very sudden; it wasn’t a drawn-out battle or fight."
The rapper added that he's had a number of friends diagnosed in recent, including a professor from Chicago State University, who particularly inspired the song. "His reaction to it was he was gonna fight it, and fight it in a very bold, aggressive, vigorous kind of manner," he explained. "And it was the first time I had ever seen a close friend of mine battling with cancer."
Fiasco continued: "I didn’t want it to be something sentimental or something you sit down and be sad about, but something where you can get up and actually go out and feel invigorated about."
Fiasco recalled to MTV News the first time that he heard Soundz and Duke Da Monsta's beat. "When I first heard the track, and the chorus was already in the track, it was like, 'Hm, what can you talk about, with what the chorus is saying?'" he said. "You could be cliché and be like, basketball, a story about a basketball player. Or just something very, very general."
"It was like a eureka moment," Fiasco continued. "I was listening to the beat in the car and I was like, 'Fighting cancer.' This is the song right here. Once I kind of established that that is what it was gonna be, I just started to pull from personal experiences that I had with people who are fighting cancer; St. Jude's commercials. Just kind of every reference point that I had from a personal point to just kind of a more general point."