On Tuesday, the same day Nip released Crenshaw, attached $100 price tag to the physical copies and sold them at a pop-up shop in Los Angeles, the "Hussle in the House" MC posted a screen shot of wire transaction between him and Jay on Instagram. Jay had bought 100 copies of the disc.
"I got a DM on Twitter from a respected hip-hop journalist and he was just like, 'Hov respects the move, salute,' " Nipsey told MTV News on Wednesday (October 9). "A little while later, I got an email that came through my team that was like, 'Roc Nation, on behalf of Jay Z wants to buy 100 units. Who do we pay? When can we get the shipment out?' "
Just like that, Nipsey moved 100 of the 1,000 physical CDs he pressed up in one shot. "They sent us $10,000, we sent them 100 CDs," Nip confirmed. "I didn't get a chance to holla at Jay, but through his people he made it clear that he respects the movement and everything. I was humbled by it. I felt like it was a good risk, and it ended up working out."
Hussle, who has released a number of free critically acclaimed mixtapes like 2008's Bullets Ain't Got No Name Vol. 1 and 2010's The Marathon, is also offering the tape online for free, but ultimately looked to mobilize his fanbase to support in a way that bucks the major-label system.
"It ISN'T the price of the plastic case and polyurethane disc...it's the price of Revolution! The price of Rebellion against an industry that has tricked us all into making products that have no soul for fear of not being heard if we don't," Nipsey said in a statement issued to RapRadar.com.
The statement clearly resonated with Jay and a legion of fans, because Nip has since sold all his available copies. Now, fellow artists are showering him with praise. "Since I announced... I've been getting phone calls and tweets from people showing support and love," he told us. "I talked to E-40 this morning, we laughed about it. He was like, 'What you tryna do, you tryna shut the game down?' "
Nipsey simply responded by tipping his hat to the veteran independent Bay Area rapper: "I was like, 'I learned from the best, I watched y'all.' "