Nipsey Hussle's career has been more stop-and-go than L.A. traffic, but the rapper is far from discouraged. After building a sizable buzz that landed him a record deal with Epic, a shoe deal with Pony, co-signs from the Game and Snoop, and acting credits in flicks with Vivica A. Fox and Ving Rhames, Nipsey still hasn't dropped his major-label debut, South Central State of Mind. No worries: The lanky hip-hop prospect is still delivering heat with his latest mixtape, The Marathon.
"The Marathon concept is just me stepping outside of the situation and assessing it," Nipsey told Mixtape Daily. "A lot of times, you go through a situation where you didn't get what you expected out of it, and it'll get you down, but when it come to us, we done been through this a million times. We done had it, took losses and bounced back harder. And that's part of the game: bouncing back off your loss, if you would even consider this a loss."
As MTV News continues its New West Week coverage, it's only right that Nipsey's name be affiliated with Cali's rap resurgence. No matter what label Nip eventually chooses to hustle with — he recently left the Epic fold — bank on the "Feelin' Myself" rapper to keep winning.
" 'Love?' is the intro track," Nipsey said. "That record is just about my experience with the bad part of the game. Like the phoniness and the fakeness and the yes-men stuff and just the part that turn you off of the game. Me, I'm just a genuine person. I try to keep it 100 when I deal with people. That's one of the things I've been experiencing in this game: People don't really keep it 100."
"Keys 2 the City" - " 'Keys 2 the City' is just an update on what's been going on with me since my introduction to the game," Nipsey said. "It's just talking about our relevance to L.A., what we mean to the city right now. Our grind and our rise and the footwork and the legwork that we put in. But it's a real record. It talk about some real-life situations."
Starting today (April 18), stick with us as MTV News turns the spotlight on the New West, the next wave of hip-hop acts helping restore faith in the L.A. rap scene. From groups like Odd Future to rising MCs like Dom Kennedy, we'll bring you up close and personal to these artists as they carve their own lanes in the post-gangsta rap era. Keep it locked here for the next week for more on the West Coast up-and-comers.