By: Dj First Class
Tune in below as I reflect on the late, GREAT, Nipsey Hussle's legacy.
It's so crazy to me that I'm writing this piece right now. This was such an unexpected tragedy and I never would have thought I'd be grieving over the loss of one of my favorite artists THIS soon. My heart right now is filled with sadness, anger, confusion and disbelief. When I heard about the horrible news, I was in Vegas enjoying my 5th year QUEversary celebration with my line brothers. It was a Sunday afternoon when I scrolled through my Twitter feed to see that Nip had been shot five times and I immediately started to pray for his healing. What was once a joyous moment quickly turned into a atmosphere of sorrow and heartbreak when I read multiple headlines that read "Rapper Nipsey Hussle Dead At 33" followed up with pictures of his body lying on the ground and blood on him.
I was a freshman at Western Illinois University (Fall 2010) when I initially heard Nipsey's "The Marathon" mixtape. I don't think I became a fan of any other artist as quickly as I did Nip simply because I wasn't accustomed to that West Coast sound he delivered and the STYLE in which the bars was laid out. It stood out to me and I quickly hopped on board. Clearly, I had been late to the party due to the fact that he'd been out for years prior with his earlier mixtapes --- but hey, better late than never, right?
Nipsey put a ton of things into perspective for me. From life lessons to how to HUSSLE in this industry overall, I've always felt a personal connection with him solely via his music. That's some powerful sh*t! He most certainly got me through some tough times in my life with his wordplay and the messages he spread within his music. Looking back, Hussle Man has grown tremendously through his art over the years --- starting out banging crip heavy and street talk, to being a positive icon and mogul in his community and across the nation.
It was in 2013 when I realized that he was a true king with the release of his mixtape "Crenshaw". That same year, my record label Billionaire Minds Build Brands (BMBB) came to fruition and I had just hosted my very first mixtape for my label mate/BMBB Founder Jonathan Stewart. We both vigorously studied the ways Nip made his mark in the industry with this tape's release and that alone was motivation for us to embed similar work ethic with our future releases. His 2014 mixtape "Mailbox Money" further solidified his stamp and impact on the music industry for artists across the globe, especially independent artists and labels. Nipsey opened our eyes to more than the average person could see and I am forever grateful!
Neighborhood Nip was one of a kind, a rose that grew from concrete. He was way ahead of his time. Many artists all over adored & loved him as not only a fellow MC, but as a black man and a brother. How could you not like him?
Not only was Nipsey Hussle a phenomenal artist, he was a storyteller, a son, a brother, a father, a husband to be, an innovator, a mogul, a pillar in his community, a businessman, a leader --- the list goes on and on.
He recently received a Grammy nomination for his debut album "Victory Lap". Although he didn't win, he without a doubt won a Grammy in the streets! Despite his latest release "Racks In The Middle" with Roddy Ricch, it's wild how his first and final album would be his Victory Lap of life......
This one really hit home for me and I can't find the words to describe the misery and hurt for not only myself, but more importantly his family and friends. Please keep Lauren and his children, brother and extended family lifted in prayer! With me having a brother, it brings tears to my eyes thinking that Blacc Sam (Nipsey's older brother) had to pull up to see his flesh and blood helplessly fighting for his life.
As the late, GREAT Nipsey stated: "Do it BIG so they remember yo name......HUSSLE!" (From the outro record to "Crenshaw" --- "Crenshaw & Slauson True Story")
Rest In Paradise Nip! Your presence is felt tremendously. Although God needed you more in Heaven, your legacy will forever live and we will continue THE MARATHON in your honor. One Love ❤️
*I curated a playlist below that includes Nipsey Hussle records and the samples used in them that I believe you all will appreciate. Check it out and spread the NOiZE!*