This will be the hardest narrative I’ve ever written. Being an LA native born, raised and having frequently ran the streets only a short bike ride from where he built his empire and ultimately was taken from us, the life and death of Nipsey Hussle hit just a little differently. Over 2 months have gone by since that dreaded day and still, things don’t feel real. If there is anything that can be taken as a somewhat positive spin on an obviously dreaded situation, it’s that his life wasn’t wasted. Not a moment of it. As his interviews, motivational tweets, and music have begun to circulate at a higher frequency, it’s apparent that Nip accomplished what he came to do. At age 33, he accomplished more than almost anyone could imagine; especially those having to defy the odds of growing up in the type of environment that isn’t very forgiving or safe to say the least. When you consider hip hop artists, whether it be singers, rappers or producers, how many can really say they achieved as much as he did? Nipsey Hussle is, was, and forever will be a symbol of perseverance, focus, and hard work. From hustling in the parking lot, to selling his cd’s out the trunk, to building his brand up enough to get enough money to buy that same strip mall he hustled in, Nipsey had a dream, and attained it all the while remaining in a position of power and true to himself. Since his The Marathon mixtape, Nipsey Hussle has been trying to teach us about entrepreneurship, how to market yourself and to always bet on yourself and using your own money and ideas to execute your plans. His “All Money In” mentions, were more than that, it was a movement. We saw him progress with each project, skill wise as an artist, and success wise as a business man. While his Bullets Ain’t Got No Names projects got him attention, his consistency and progression displayed on The Marathon, The Marathon Continues, Crenshaw, and my personal favorite, Mailbox Money all allowed him to deliver his ultimate goal of releasing his debut album Victory Lap.
62 albums, 217 tracks
Man, I really wish it didn’t take me so long to write this review. I knew I should’ve reviewed this the minute it came out because I watched Nipsey’s growth from his first mixtape to the self-made man he became. I remember the first time he charged 100 dollars for a mixtape and thinking to myself “yo what’s this dudes problem” only to then watch him charge 1000 dollars for a mixtape and make $100,000. I remember getting excited when I thought he’d sign to MMG because I KNEW he’d fit in well with Rick Ross. I remember getting excited when he’d drop freestyles and listening to them on repeat in my mom’s Gold Honda CRV. I waited years for this album to drop, went through several ups downs, break ups, hirings and firings waiting for this album. But when it finally did I didn’t give it the spins it truly deserved. To be fair I had just moved to New York and I was doing my best not to get swept away in a wave of rats and overpriced rum and cokes. I gave the album a glance, but I was more focused on discovering myself on the next part of my journey. I don’t think I was ready to listen to Nipsey talk about his crowning achievement as I was still trying to figure out my own life. I thought I had time, Nipsey wasn’t going anywhere, I could listen to this album when I’m ready. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that and sometimes the best time to do something is the time you know you have instead of the time you think you do. It still doesn’t feel real but, this year we lost one of the most motivational artists of my generation and I would be remis not to talk about his crowning musical achievement. So, let’s get into Nipsey Hussle’s major label debut: Victory Lap.
Nipsey Hussle was a rapper that somehow eluded my radar, and what is more painful is the fact that when he finally makes it on my radar, he can’t quench this thirst his Victory Lap has given me for more of his songs. To think that he hit my radar in mid November of 2018 and I never bothered to listen to the album nor a track on the album until 4 days again says I definitely judged a book by its cover. He was recommended to me by a younger friend who is mostly into Mumble Rap or Trap Music, which I’m not really a fan of until lately, when the mumble in trap music is now being disposed since a lot of traditional rappers came for the Mumble rap generation last year, and the came hard for all the lil’s in the mumble rap. Eminem in Kamikaze, Royce Da 5’9 in Book of Ryan, Logic in Young Sinatra IV (YSIV), and J. Cole in KOD all came out to save the continuous decline of the Rap Culture and movement by the celebration of mediocre lyricism; actually winning Grammy Awards and earn Nominations only because of its commercial success. This is laughable as the genre RAP is defined as Rhythm And Poetry for one, mumble rappers don’t care about the Poetry aspect as they keyed into the Rhythm aspect alone, and they did this under serious influence of whatever they keep sipping from their cups in their music videos. The real wordsmiths were being ignored and mediocre kept being reward for its contribution to the death of the Rap Culture; kinds of seemed like the scene in Game of Thrones where Jon Snow as Lord Commander was stabbed to death by a faction of the Night’s Watch Brothers with the words “For the Watch” before each stab. Only this time, the faction are mumble rappers and every accolade they got for what qualifies as Rap music, it came with the words “For the Culture” right before they shoved the awards and nominations of actually rappers who stick to the poetry aspect of the Rap Genre. Safe to say I’ve been over 13months late to join the Victory Lap album train car and a little over 14 years to join the Nipsey Hussle train since he released his first mixtape Slauson Boy Vol. 1 in 2005. Victory Lap is the definition of a complete Rap Album, as in an actual hardcore rap album with little to no melody and choruses. It has 2 A-list rappers on it as a feature, Kendrick Lamar in “Dedication”, Puff Daddy in “Young N***a.” Kendrick gave a verse that shone a life on his growing years as well as the conditions in which the average black child has to grow up in; “For generations we’ve been dealt bad hands with bad plans.” This is somewhat a self-realisation that you have to work 3times as hard and stay dedicated so as just to be able to get the good life. Nipsey on the other hand, through his music passed a message that revolves around Dedication, Motivation, Focus, Persistence to the listeners and that if he can make it on his own without a big record label, you can also make your own breakthrough if you never stop fighting for what is yours (your Dreams). It’s just terribly sad that his life was cut short by someone close to him, well that on its own is also a life lesson to pick and cherish; just like an old Yoruba adage that transliterate to “The ant that eats the vegetable, lives within the vegetable.”
Official Music Videos
Featuring Version Videos
Remix Version Videos
Static Image Video
- Jun 24, 2019BET Awards 2019: Nipsey Hussle Honored by YG, John Legend, DJ Khaled
- Jun 14, 2019Nipsey Hussle Will Receive a Posthumous Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards
- Jun 13, 2019Nipsey Hussle Will Posthumously Receive Humanitarian Award at 2019 BET Awards
- May 24, 2019YG Teases a 'Special Project' With Nipsey Hussle
- May 21, 2019Nipsey Hussle Murder Suspect Indicted on New Charges
- May 21, 2019Nipsey Hussle shooting suspect Eric Holder indicted for death of rapper, heads to trial
- May 19, 2019DJ Khaled And John Legend Pay Tribute To Nipsey Hussle On ‘SNL’
- May 16, 2019DJ Khaled Announces Nipsey Hussle-Assisted Track “Higher”
- All Money In
Ermias Joseph Asghedom (August 15, 1985 – March 31, 2019), known professionally as Nipsey Hussle (often stylized as Nipsey Hu$$le), was an Eritrean American rapper and songwriter from Los Angeles, California. Emerging from the West Coast hip hop scene in the mid-2000s, Hussle initially became known for his numerous mixtapes, including his Bullets Ain't Got No Name series, The Marathon, The Marathon Continues and Crenshaw, the last of which rapper Jay-Z bought 100 copies of for $100 each. After much delay, his debut studio album Victory Lap was released in February 2018 to critical acclaim and commercial success, and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019.
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