REMINDERS FOR APRIL 1, 2019 Nipsey Hussle’s Complicated Life And Demise

Sometimes I couldn’t make sense of Nipsey Hussle’s actions. He took risks that appeared absurd. The Eritrean-American rapper from Los Angeles chose the independent path, self-releasing the majority of his output in this decade via All Money In, the record label he founded in 2010. While his talented industry peers were shaking hands with labels to broaden the reach of their music, the rapper chose the independent path.

He wagered that by charging exorbitant prices for mixtapes, he might demonstrate that people still proudly pay to support musicians. At a cost of $100 each, he sold 1,000 copies of Crenshaw in 2013, with 100 going to a noticeably astonished Jay-Z. The next year, Hussle printed 60 copies of Mailbox Money on paper and sold them for $1,000 apiece. It is common knowledge that in the latter years of the CD, it was still feasible to earn a respectable living by removing the middlemen in the transaction between performers and fans. Artists have adopted Hussle’s strategy of treating physical releases as one-time collector’s item drops, including Newark rapper Mach-Hommy and Frank Ocean.

Nip was a creative thinker who was also an entrepreneur and philanthropist. His streetwear company, Marathon Clothing, transformed the area where he used to hustle into a legitimate business that created jobs for the neighborhood. Young professionals now have a place to study and hone their talents thanks to Vector90, a shared workspace and STEM center that opened in Crenshaw last winter.

. Hussle has joined the team behind Destination Crenshaw, a mile-long “open-air museum” that will debut with a new rail line that will serve the neighborhood. This project is another attempt to stake real money on local pride. Rappers often claim to respect their roots, but Nip used the power provided by his music to network with influential members of the City Council and investors in order to expand his local companies and spur the creation of fresh ideas. After calling out the block, time and money should be invested on repurchasing some of it in order to improve the aesthetics and local economy.

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