Today we celebrate Nipsey Hussle. A man who gave to the world his gift. A gift that continues to bless those who are willing to seek it out. Nipsey Hussle had it. Something that you can't define but also something that you can't ignore. To this day you can't ignore the legend that is Nipsey The Great. And throughout his journey his audience watched from the bleachers as Nipsey Hussle ran his marathon. And this marathon wasn't easy. He fell a couple times. He got tired more than a couple times. He caught his 2nd and 3rd wind when it would've been easier to give up. But he didn't. He made one thing clear for all the doubters. THE MARATHON CONTINUES!
Never judge a book by it's cover. This is one of the first lessons I learned from Nipsey. I say that because books are filled with knowledge and experiences that bring value. And few rappers brought the type of value that Nipsey Hussle brought to the game. It was his hard delivery that drew in listeners. But it was the knowledge he dropped in his lyrics that made listeners think and seek out just what this kid from Crenshaw, California was talking about. I truly think this was his coded language. A language that was meant for his people. His tall frame dressed in baggy clothes and surrounded by gang members was truly meant to scare away the sharks as said in his song Loaded Bases, "Got these sharks that I'm sitting at this table with afraid to bait me". It was lines like these that showed his greatness and just how coded the language of Nipsey Hussle was.
This book was meant for his people. The people that wasn't born hedge fund babies. The wasn't that hadn't been groomed since birth to take over major corporations. His music wasn't meant for the privileged kids who knew the game and had been taught how to make money and mostly keep money. But never wanted to share it with the people who really needed it. No this book was for the PEOPLE. The ones living paycheck to paycheck. The ones who had the talent but had built up frustration from not having the resources to be able to share it with the world. Or as Nipsey rapped, didn't have the platform to express themselves. This book was for his PEOPLE.
My cultural influence even rival Lucien,
The pages of Nipsey Hussle are filled with game. Getting deeper into the person Nipsey it was his look and delivery that drew in the people who truly needed the game. But again it was his lyrics that helped them grow. What was so special about these lyrics? It's the breadth of knowledge contained in each bar which was the medicine in the candy that he fed to his listeners. His lyrics became the cure for a people that had been struck down with poverty and targeted by a system that was designed for them to never win. It was lines like "Closin' escrow twice this month, both commercial units" which made listeners seek out just what he meant. Nipsey was talking about Ownership. One of the biggest things he preached throughout his career was the power he had from owning everything he put out. From his masters, to his clothing line, to the way the user consumed the product. Controlling the whole experience. Again he taught us when he said the word vertically integration which I'm sure was the first time the two words had been mentioned in a rap song. Nipsey Hussle owned everything, which was the reward for betting on himself at a very unknown time in the music industry. This alone aside from his numerous business ventures will help his kids, kids eat. That's generational wealth. He truly lived his brand The Marathon! He lived it by the way he didn't take the easy route by signing just any label deal. But Nipsey Hussle decided to take the longer independent route because he knew his true worth. And he wasn't about to take less than his worth. Even if this meant he had run a MARATHON.
It was his well rounded lyrics that took him across the world. His lyrics showed a knowledge which made him often times one of the smartest people in the rooms. Even when sitting at the business table. Often times he showed his ability to articulate in a way that people didn't expect. Something that he used toward his advantage. And what was even doper was that he proudly spoke about the power of knowledge and the fact that he was an avid reader. His book list includes 60 selections and shows his wide range of interests that undoubtedly helped him grow and also helped him make millions. Nipsey Hussle knew that being a leader in most instances meant being able to speak artistically for his people. But he didn't stop there. He took the knowledge that he learned and taught it to the people. What he taught was a necessary knowledge that these people might not ever have learned without him. This was just like in the book, "The Spook Who Sat By The Door by Sam Greenlee which is also on his book list. In the book a black man from the hood took the training he learned from the CIA back to the hood and used it to empower his people . That's exactly what Nipsey Hussle did for his people. He Empowered them. Here's where you can find the book list
Nipsey always showed love. And when he expressed his love for Lauren London. He was celebrated. What was so special about Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London's relationship was that it showed the world that black love can be televised. That even the hardest person in the world ain't shit without love. Love is more powerful for hate. Love is everything as to reference the album by The Carters. It was Nipsey's love for Lauren London that went viral with memes and tweets about what black love is. It's beauty in it's purest form. It was only right that she help him finish the last song on his album "Victory Lap" on the song called "Real Big" by providing vocals and showcasing their love. This was No Money Out.
To sum up Nispey Hussle.... There is no sum up. Because he's not gone. His lyrics live through us. Every time we play his track he breathes life into us. He continues to open our minds. There's no doubt that Nipsey Hussle hustled hard so I have no doubt there is a vault of music just sitting, waiting for the right time. And the right time might not be now. It might not be 3 years from now. Because maybe it's not for us. Maybe it's for the next generation of kids. The kids that are stuck in a system that continues not to give them the resources to express themselves. But that's when they will release the music. That's when they press play on this new music and inhale the breathe of life that is Nipsey The Great!
So on this important day. This Nipsey Hussle Day. Go play some Nipsey Hussle and breathe in the life of this legend. Because legends never die. And for the legend of Nipsey Hussle.
THE MARATHON CONTINUES!