Nipsey Hussle: Music & Tech; Hip-Hop Mogul in The Making
This may come at no surprise, but Nipsey Hussle is a hustler-that should be an obvious statement being as though it is part of his name. Before inking his major label deal with Atlantic Records back in 2017, Nipsey’s independent grind was well documented. He built an empire for himself slanging “records out the trunk”, in the same fashion as hip-hop pioneers such as Master P, and Jay-Z once did at the start of their careers. A sentiment Nipsey himself has alluded to recently in an interview with the Breakfast Club. He has even dropped a few bars on the track “Rap Niggas”, saluting Master P and company, emphatically stating; “We the No Limit of the west nigga/”. And the respect and admiration between Nipsey and Hov seems to be a mutual connection, dating back to 2013 when Jay famously purchase 100 copies of Nipsey’s “Crenshaw” mixtape, at $100 a pop. Nipsey embodies the hustlers ambition and entrepreneurial spirit of both men, and with the creative vision, a huge following and street credibility, along with the desire not only to improve his own situation, but to better the culture as a whole- Nipsey can very well become a giant mogul in the industry.
To become a major mogul individual must take risks, stay ahead of the curve, and make smart investments. The last couple years have seen rappers and businesspeople in general, invest their money into tech startups. And for good reason, we live in a digital world, and I have every reason to believe that would remain the case in 2018. Nipsey has been ahead of the curve in this space through his involvement with cryptocurrency. For those not familiar with the term cryptocurrency, it’s basically digital currency (money) in which people can exchange against themselves, not regulated by banks. I’m sure you might have heard of a company called “Bitcoin” , or seen the name somewhere, but that is an example of cryptocurrency. In fact it is the first decentralized cryptocurrency, for what its worth. Nipsey got on board with crypto back in 2013 following a meeting with Marc Ecko; a meeting that was originally meant to discuss Nip’s place in the music industry. Nipsey followed the advice and was in a prime position to reap the benefits after the crypto boom in 2017. An addition to Bitcoin, Nipsey also has stake in “Follow Coin” which is an Amersterdam-based crypto company. Nipsey believes that cryptocurrencies are the future, and if you watch his interviews on the subject, you can tell he’s done his research on the field. Rather just popping off and rambling, he appears credible every time he speaks. This authenticity that Nipsey presents was a topic of conversation between a co-woker and I. My co-woker stated that Nipsey is one of the few people in the industry you really would want to sit and listen to. I readily agreed as I admitted that I have watch his entire Breakfast Club interview from beginning to end, which I don’t do often. Nipsey is the student that learned from the OGs before him, crystalizing their ethos, and now has become the OG to listen to for the current generation.
Nipsey is now riding the wave of the release of his debut album “Victory Lap”. The album is definitely the talk of the streets for the moment, debuting at #4 on the Billboard charts, pretty impressive for someone he spent most of his career so far in the underground. With so much independent success there were some questions to why Nipsey would sign to a major anyway. A question he answers by saying “partnering with Atlantic creates the opportunity to take what we’re doing to the next level, without compromising”. He also mentioned that it is in the tradition to what Jay-Z did with Roc-A-Fella, start independent then go global. And if Nipsey keep being an innovator with his investments like getting the jump on cryptocurrencies, he may find himself being compared to Jay-Z in other ways as well.