You can feel that Nipsey Hussle is destined to do some great things in this rap game. At least we feel so. He's been embraced by fans from coast to coast, and his big homies from the West, Snoop Dogg and the Game, have been showing him love since he came in the game a couple of years back. You love his mixtape series Bullets Ain't Got No Names? Soak it up now — this is the last dance. He's cooling down from mixtapes to transition into albums. His debut is due in 2010.
This Week's Main Pick
Street King: Nipsey Hussle
Holding It Down For: L.A.
Mixtape: Bullets Ain't Got No Names, Vol. 3
Real Spit: Nipsey is right at home on 10th Avenue (not too far from Crenshaw), shooting his segment for Mixtape Daily. This is where he grew up and the place he won't turn his back on.
"I ain't really left yet," he said of the area. "I live somewhere else, but outta habit, outta convenience, how my foundation was structured, I'm still over here. My loved ones are still over here. I feel like when I do come back [to the neighborhood], I bring opportunity. I'm not ballin' out of control, but I bring opportunity back. Not just 'cause it's cliché, but because I got loved ones that got potential to do other things than be in the street."
Nip has used the streets as a pathway to greater things.
"It's kinda like the final chapter in my issuing music to the streets, music that I specially tailor-made to give away to my fans and establish my sound of hip-hop," he explained of the third and possibly final installment of his Bullets Ain't Got No Names series. "I kinda wanted to fill in the blanks of [parts] 1 and 2 and just do the records I felt I needed that I didn't have yet on part 1 and 2. That's how I came into the game and established my buzz and fanbase off of the mixtapes. I just wanted to say what I didn't say on 1 and 2. Keeping consistent but showing growth, showing where I'm at; fresh off tour, about to drop the official album."
Joints to Check For
» "Rap Music" (featuring June Summers). "It [comes] late in the mixtape," Nip explained. "I think it's [track] 17 or 18. It's talking about what rap music means to me. Me wanting to get into it as a kid and chasing it into a career choice and me becoming semi-successful and breaking myself as an artist. It's also about how I changed my life and music gave me an outlet. I never finished high school — not saying that's a badge of honor or it means something to your credibility, because it don't. That's to say that as far as positioning in the real world, I didn't have a high school diploma, I didn't go to trade school, so other than being in the streets and getting money off these corners, we ain't really had no other viable options. We could've got little chump-change, minimum-wage jobs, but we didn't want those. We got egos. It's featuring my homeboy June Summers."
» "The Hustler's Way." "That's me in an autobiographical record," he explained. "How I do things. My name is Nipsey Hussle, everything I do is planned, strategized. I talk about my reality before the rap music was a viable means to me to get money. The cause and effect of what they see of us out here. The way we react. It ain't an aggressive record; it's more an introspective record."
» "You Gotta Take It" (featuring Lloyd). "It's featuring Lloyd," Hussle said. "That's my homeboy. That record is how the hook say: 'Never let them knock you off your grind.' That record is about how you gotta take it if you wanna make it. The hook sums it up. You gonna have setbacks. Some people look at 'em as brick walls; I look at them as speed bumps. After I got my deal, I got cracked and went to jail. I didn't have no bail. By the grace of God, I beat my case. I got out and kept grinding."
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