Nipsey Hussle Talks Leaving Epic

By Mawuse Ziegbe

He was singled out as one of the rising MCs slated change the game in 2010, and now it looks like Nipsey Hussle will be back on his indie grind in 2011.

In a sit-down with HipHopDX, the Left Coast spitter said he's in the process of getting out of his deal with Epic Records, but maintained the split was amicable, citing high turnover at the label and ouster of many of his key supporters among the reasons for leaving the major-label hustle behind.

"But, just to keep it completely 100, I'm in the process of negotiating my release right now. And we just gonna go back to doing what we been doing, as far as an independent company and serving our region," he said. "But it wasn't really no big fallout with the label or nothin' like that, it's just Epic went through internal changes: they fired the president, Amanda Ghost, [after] actually becoming a subsidiary of Columbia [Records]. Half of they staff is gonna be laid off or fired. And the original staff that brought me in the building, that shared the original vision of really what Nipsey Hussle was, they're all gone. So, being fair, it ain't really nobody in particular that we can point the blame on, it just kinda was like a [dissolving] of the core team that started on the project. So it serves both interests for us to just go back to what we was doing originally."

The Cali spitter also maintained everything will be good on the business end as well.

"I'ma walk away with all my masters; I'ma walk away unobligated, with my brand built," he said. "And it's all love and respect for everybody at Epic. We took a chance together. It was a lot of money spent, a lot of success together, and it's no hard feelings."

Up next for the "Feelin' Myself" lyricist, who's wrapping up a year that includes guesting on the star-studded "We Are The World — 25 for Haiti" collabo and scoring an MTV News "Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010" nod, is releasing the much-delayed South Central State of Mind. Nip said he's currently checking out distribution-deal offers, adding that he may take a cue from The Purple One when it comes to putting out new music.

"Actually, we weighing the options right now. We got a lot of offers for it. But I'm just trying to really come up with the best idea of how I wanna do it," he said. "I was entertaining new original ways to distribute music, kinda like in the sense of what Prince did with one of his projects he put out in [2007]. It was called Planet Earth, and what he did was he distributed it through a magazine in Europe who had a subscription base of like 1.5 million. This a new era, and I think it was a paradigm shift in how people receive content recently. So I'ma gamble on that paradigm shift and I'ma try something original. And I don't wanna go in to too much detail, but it'll be something along the lines of what Prince did with his album … "

The West Coast MC released his mixtape The Marathon on December 21.

What do you think of Nipsey Hussle departing Epic Records? Are you still looking forward to his music? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!