I just wanna speak whats on my heart. No proof reading or edits. I just wanna get it out of my heart. I can’t believe I’m writing this.
The first thing I ever heard my nigga ever say was..
"I’m coming straight outta Slauson a crazy mothafucka named Nipsey. I’m turnt up cuz I grew up in tha 60’s.”
It was the first thing I thought of when he transitioned and all I can think was “You were much more than that brother. You grew to be so much more."
Crazy how death works. Soon as my bro Adrian texted me the news I dropped my phone and felt paralyzed. It wasn’t confirmed yet at the time so I put my phone down prayed and watched a show. A couple hours later I opened my phone to google to see those words. “Rapper Nipsey Hussle shot and killed in Los Angeles." I instantly started crying. I lost my hero. The way Beyonce fans feel about Beyonce is the way I feel about Nipsey. All real niggas felt that way about Neighborhood Nipsey. The west is my second home. DJ Quik, E-40, and Nipsey are my heroes. This tragedy reminded me of the evening we found out Pac died when I was a kid. Everyone on my block was in tears. We lost our leader. It was so eerie how similar March 31st was to September 13th. We lost another leader. We lost a General and voice of our generation. We lost a King.
After I cried for a few minutes I rewinded all the way back to 2008 when I heard the first words Nipsey ever rapped. I just went down the timeline in my mind until the end. Every mixtape release I remember like it was yesterday. I remember I was probably one of the few people in St.Louis listening to Nipsey in 2008. I remember saying whats up to him outside Spitta show in L.A. I remember going to the parking lot where he took his last breath and thinking this is the place he filmed so many of his vlogs. I remember seeing everyone in his neighborhood wearing his Marathon clothing. All the times I’ve been to Slauson I never heard anyone in that neighborhood speak bad about Nipsey. The trust the people of his neighborhood had in him was like nothing I ever seen. I love that area and love how each time I visited something changed for the better in the neighborhood.
If you know me you know Nipsey was my favorite rapper. Ask any of my friends. They’ll tell you I’ve been a fan for a decade plus. His music was my routine almost daily. He provided me with the insight to start my brand. Polite would not be here if it wasn’t for Nipsey Hussle. I followed his blueprint on how he reinvented his brand and I’m so thankful for him. I remember him working on “South Central State Of Mind” which was supposed to be his debut album and his major deal didn’t workout and I never stopped supporting him. I didn’t count him out. I seen something in him that I knew he would bounce back. He wasn’t built like a ordinary nigga. This wasn’t going to be the case where a rapper album gets shelved and we never hear from them again. Nipsey was built different. He took the biggest gamble and gambled his career and went independent and pulled off the greatest career turn around we’ve ever seen.
He never complained. He never asked for handouts. He never blamed anyone. He just put his feet to the pavement and he studied people outside of the culture and moguls inside of the culture. It was one of the many things that I admired about Nip. He was a student of history and he always wanted to learn. It was key to him for saving his career. He released the first $100 mixtape with Crenshaw and he changed the culture. He added a message to his music with “The Marathon” campaign. He made you feel like you were apart of his journey and you really were. He was just an expert at building his own lane. Then the moment Victory Lap came out after waiting 8 years was one of the most memorable nights for me. I was so proud of my nigga. Then I seen my favorite rapper get nominated for a Grammy for the best rap album which regardless of the outcome he had the best rap album period. I don’t think I’ve been attached to an artist like I am with Nipsey because I saw him hustle for 11 years straight. Anything I saw his name attached to, I supported.
Once he got the music under control he focused on his community. He opened up the first smart store. He had the project for business spaces for aspiring entrepreneurs. He had the Vector90 project. He had the pipeline for black kids to make it to Silicon Valley by providing a program for studying stem. He was apart of having the train in Crenshaw being built. He just finalized owning the plaza real estate he was killed in. He provided so many jobs for the people in his neighborhood. All the shit rappers say they’re going to do for their communities Nipsey was actually doing. Even rappers and athletes with millions of more dollars than Nipsey wasn’t doing what Nipsey was doing for his community. That just shows you how selfless he was. He really wanted his people to win. This was more than a crip from the Rollin 60’s. This was a man of the people. This was a leader. A radical. A visionary. A King.
The way Nipsey went out was horrific. It’s just the way the physical journey ended that makes it hard for me to grasp. The fact that it doesn’t surprise me is what saddens me the most. Another coward who has nothing going for themselves and no one respects is hating on a man who provided so much for his people. A coward that was from Nipsey’s own set did this. It’s like Nipsey said on “Blue Laces” He said
“What happened to the code? The streets all in shambles niggas powdering they nose putting to shame what we stand for.”
There is no honor in the streets anymore. If there isn’t any honor anymore then how can you honor something with no honor? It’s a lose-lose situation for the real. Nothing but snakes and rats out here and they have no drive to change or make a difference. They just wanna destroy. This shit hurts me so much man. I haven’t been able to write. I can barely sleep. I haven’t eaten a meal. I can’t workout. Haven’t been on social media since that day. I can’t even listen to my nigga voice. I haven’t played a Nipsey song since his death. Nipsey owns all his masters so all his streams go to his family but it’s so hard for me to listen because when I try to I get so angry. I can barely look at photos of him. It took every ounce of strength in me to look up the photos for this blog post. Just seeing death and his name in the same sentence drops my heart back into my gut. I hate talking about it because I feel so lost. A piece of my spirit is gone. Somebody who stood for empowerment, ownership, family, love, and prosperity is gone for such petty reasons. We needed Nipsey.
This situation could discourage so many people in our culture from giving back to their people. I just want everybody to love people even harder after this tragedy. Not just your loved ones but strangers too. I’m tired of not connecting with my people or always having tension between each other just because we don’t know each other. Tired of staring at each other and not saying hi and introducing ourselves. I accept that it’s a cruel world that we live in but I will never accept lying down and letting evil and hate win. This terrible loss has fueled me to work harder, help more people, and succeed beyond my imagination. I wasn’t blessed to interview Nipsey but I’ll make it a goal to interview his brother Blacc Sam someday. I know Sam will continue The Marathon and I believe he will be an even bigger entrepreneur. I know he won’t let this be the end. I’m praying so hard for Nipsey’s family and friends. I never knew Nipsey personally and my soul is crushed. I couldn’t imagine what they’re going through.
Thundercat thank you. Thank you for all the memories. Thank you for all the game. Thank you for allowing us to go on The Marathon and Victory Lap with you. You really did it. You lived out your dream. Your family and friends are going to continue to build the community you lived and passed in. The 100 million you were working towards will happen. It’s like you said….
“Since when do real niggas come in second?”
The Marathon isn’t over. It’s just begun.
Love you Nipsey. The Marathon Continues.
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