Nipsey Hussle is obtaining success through strategic movement.
We’re nearing two years since the release of Nipsey’s Mailbox Money mixtape and rounding three years since the release of his Crenshaw mixtape. However, it’s been a “marathon” of strategic planning for the African-American/Eritrean rapper. On the shallow end of the spectrum, there’s music — becoming the indispensable component of Nipsey Hussle’s hustle, but let’s not forget the finance-grounded side of Ermis Asghedom and a look into how he operates.
The business standpoint of the 31-year-old rapper has been present in his music since the beginning of his days on the mic. In recent time, there’s a new focus that is noticeable in his music, like “Ocean Views” and “I Don’t Stress.” Nipsey imparts life lessons, past struggles, as well as motivational diction. His clear-cut direction is leading him to victory—doing it all independently.
In a 2006 interview, Nipsey spoke on investing his money and having liability. A decade later, the hustle continues with that same drive, just more thorough.
I’ve been on my grind
I ain’t usually home, focused on not using phones
Lately I’ve been using songs to give my points across
While n*ggas ’round me lose it all, but that’s your point to toss
I guess I always knew the ball
And as the world revolves I’m cracking ’cause I do my job
Mike & Keys (Michael Ray Cox, Jr and John Groover Jr) have been the instrumental background behind the comings of Nispey. Instrumental in the sense of production — is what this duo (formerly known as The Futuristiks) brings to the table.
Nipsey challenged himself to build a platform that did not compromise his vision with the demands of the mainstream world, proceeding to independently run with the plan to release his debut album Victory Lap. Asghedom’s [Nipsey] marathon trail has been rooted since a fallout with Epic Records in late 2010. “I’m Netflix, [the labels] are Blockbusters,” Nipsey said in a 2013 documentary. Standing up and securing the control over his own royalties and ownership is vital to his happiness; it goes without him saying. “F**k the check, a n***a gonna get it on his own.”
Victory Lap is an album that was revealed to the world back in 2013. Originally meant to be a mixtape release, the direction changed, opting to make history in 2013, with his Crenshaw mixtape. Limited (100) first edition copies of the mixtape were sold for $100 each. Digitally released through mixtape sites, the physical copies came with incentives that were offered through Nips’ All In record label. JAY Z purchased 100 copies, allowing Nipsey to cash out with $10,000. He followed suit with the release of 2014’s Mailbox Money, selling each copy for $100 each.
One of Nipsey’s mentors in the game, Big Bob, always “pointed to literature” that Nipsey should “indulge in.” One book titled “Contagious” by Jonah Berger caught Nipsey’s eye, grasping a concept from chapter two of the book. In that chapter, a Philadelphia cheesesteak restaurant owner set the price of his cheesesteak at $100 each. “A restaurant in Philly decided they wanted to make the first $100 cheesesteak. A vast majority of people were offended, due to the normal prices of four dollars they were accustomed to paying. The fact that he set the price at $100, more than anything, “it started conversation,” Nipsey told Sway in The Morning.
Prior to this idea, Nipsey read another book that helped lay the foundation for how he would move with his branding .He also read a book titled The Immutable Laws of Marketing. “I read a lot though man,” Nipsey once told HipHopDX. “I’m like a book addict at times.” Knowledge is power and Nipsey follows what he reads to the fullest. These actions make him one of rap’s most dominant entrepreneurs. He grabs the gleam of mainstream without forcefully sitting under the mainstream light; he’s figured out the system—they attempt to keep away from artists.
An artist who doesn’t allow his personal life to intertwine with his career, well, is rare. Despite dating Lauren London, Nipsey has managed to stay out of the unfavorable light that Hollywood can sometimes overpower. Instead, Slauson Avenue is mentioned with Nipsey’s name over any other word or phrase. By a long shot, this is no easy task for a man of his caliber. His grind is not only for the sole purpose of himself, he also has a daughter by the name of Emani Asghedom. At this meticulous point in his career, victory is to be seen from the inexorable plan. Branching off into his Marathon Clothing to running his music rights, to having unique uniforms for Fatburger employees in Crenshaw, maintaining full control over situations is a fulfilling journey and Nipsey’s stamina doesn’t draw him short of the finish line.
Victory symbolically represents more than financial gains; the journey didn’t merge through sub-par roads. Periods of struggle never caused Nipsey to fold under pressure. Instead, his attentive attitude marked him closer, every time. Persistence outlined Nipsey through a trying period of time, one that he’s made it out of — in order to set his full focus on victory. A fan of his music or not, his “hussle” should be respected.
Plenty times I’ve felt like this the end now, n***a
But I catch my 2nd wind around the 10th round, n***a
Only God knows to where it went down, n***a
But if you see us up that’s cause we been down, n***a