I like to think of myself as someone who listens to a variety of artists. Some are signed and make songs for mainstream listeners, and some are independent and are extremely unique. Sometimes, some really great artists slip through the cracks.
Nipsey Hussle is one of those artists. When I was exploring and looking for new artists, I saw mention of his name but never explored his music. It wasn’t until I was riding in the car with my friend Deshun Gilchrist that I even heard his music.
I was sold! His flow was so Los Angeles, his music was so real and his beats were so crisp. I was really excited to get home and listen to the rest of the album under some headphones, so I could truly hear the music.
Nipsey’s album title, “Victory Lap,” is just that. It’s him running past many of his fellow rappers showing off his skills in a variety of ways. Lyricism, flow and topic selection are all top tier in this album.
Nipsey gives us 16 songs that all paint a picture of his life and his interpretation of the world around us. In many of his songs, he speaks to the dangers of the area he grew up in, ways he wishes to uplift that community and the current climate of our nation.
“Dedication” is one of my favorite songs on the album. Kendrick Lamar adds some fire to the track with one of the realest verses I’ve heard.
Lyrics from Nipsey like, “I swam against them waves with. Ended up on shore, to they amazement,” and “For generations we been dealt bad hands, with bad plans, prove your dedication,” speaks to the issue that African Americans have to work so much harder to reach a moderate level of success.
On “Real Big,” he talks about some of the hardships of growing up in Los Angeles like what it took to get to where he is now which adds variety to his music style.
“Left my record label, just got more rich. I switched it up, that’s me singing on the chorus,” he said.
In 2010, Nipsey was released from Epic Records and founded his own label, All Money In, under parent company Atlantic Records. Since he started his record label, he has progressively gotten more attention as an artist.
Nipsey Hussle has truly impressed me. What I love so much is the replayability of the album. I can play it in the car, shower or to sleep. It’s a great album. It’s well produced, well written and powerful. This is the music I look forward to hearing more of. I can’t wait to hear what he has to come.