His style, flare and one-of-a-kind message — there will never be another Naybahood Nip.
Nipsey Hussle made things cool. He couldn’t be copied because his mark is authentic, timeless and like he said himself, prolific.
His quality, attention to detail and principles are why a year later, Nipsey’s legacy holds strong with people. This isn’t just about music. Ermias Asghedom knew who he was as a man. Through his Nipsey Hussle persona, he used his truth to change his life and left tools for others to do the same in a fresh way.
A year after his untimely death, we can digest that he left us with enough to look within ourselves and create from that. Nip was a real leader — one who evolved in a way that made people see themselves in him. Myself included.
I’m not from Los Angeles, nor did I know him personally, but like many around the world I mourned him deeply. I grew up with men that live by the same principles that Nip did. Through his music, interviews and what loved ones have shared about him, we know Nipsey was kind, cool with everyone, supportive of his people and a man of his word. He was doing something good, something we needed, making us believe in a combined sense of action and togetherness again. That’s what we lost. It’s taught me that one’s legacy should be much more than what they create in a physical life.
Nip was a real leader — one who evolved in a way that made people see themselves in him. Myself included.
His journey is inspiring for me because it’s a raw trajectory of how your character, beliefs and principles are what is important before anything else. He made music that I enjoy, but beyond that, I’ve never seen a man like Nipsey in hip-hop before. Nothing was a gimmick, he understood that everything is circular and moved accordingly within that.
The more I grow and understand my past and see how it’s connected to my present, the more I value his message in authenticity. I’ve learned that you don’t have to put on an act or try to be “cool” — it doesn’t work. People can see through it. Be yourself, whatever that is and don’t waste time being afraid of it.
As a young woman, who comes from a Grenadian background, Nipsey’s connection with spirituality, and his understanding and showcasing of his Eritrean background was refreshing.
In this generation, we live in a culture where people put on a persona of being “real” or doing things for hype and views. When you’re different from what’s dominant and in front of you, it’s easy to conform to pressure surrounding you. Nipsey’s music showed that he understood the pressure, but remained true to himself anyway.
His influence through his lyrics brought the encouragement I needed to build self-discipline and focus with clear aligned goals.
My introduction to Nipsey Hussle started in 10th grade, with his verse on the remix to YG’s “B*tches Ain’t Shit” track also featuring Tyga.
I was 15 and living through the Datpiff era. L.A. rap was having a moment and Nipsey created a lane of his own.
From The Marathon to Mailbox Money, the mixtapes felt like albums. The quality of his work showcased how much he believed in what he was putting out for people to hear. Nine years later, it still remains the same.
“I seen it, I thought it, I dreamed it / I said it, I did it, I meant it.”
It’s a lyric off “That’s How I Knew” and it is a personal favourite of mine.
This lyric seemed to be embedded in Nipsey’s vision for every area of his life. I’m not always willing to surrender to the process that comes with having goals, so his influence through his lyrics brought the encouragement I needed to build self-discipline and focus with clear, aligned goals.
“Just tryna get over, tryna not to get swallowed by locusts / Tryin’ to stay focus, kinda like Moses / Like somebody chose us, sweat on my shoulder.”
This lyric from “Picture Me Rollin’” off of Slauson Boy 2 speaks to purpose and divine order based on what God laid out for you if you choose to get close to him. It underlines the importance of understanding how shaky that journey can be. It’s pure motivation music.
Nipsey and Lauren shared something homegrown, private and rare … They were a true definition of #RelationshipGoals.
Outside of music, the way he loved his partner, actress Lauren London wasn’t like any other red carpet love story that we’re used to. Nipsey and Lauren shared something homegrown, private and rare. They didn’t share often so when they did, it was appreciated. They were a true definition of #RelationshipGoals. Nip never left her out. Her energy is all throughout his music. She’s the voice you hear on Victory Lap. She is in his music videos. You could feel that their love was different. They spoke of one another in a way that made you respect it even if you didn’t know them personally or witness it up close.
Nipsey’s physical life was cut short in the most unnecessary way given everything he stood for and was working on. The pain of the way he was taken still stings — in front of the spot where he gave back so much to L.A. It is gut-wrenching.
Nipsey’s energy will never die. His legacy is in the tools he rapped about and built his businesses on. It’s in how he respected himself, loved his family, fathered his children and gave back to his community.
He wasn’t regular, nor could he be boxed in. His marathon may look different now, but it will never end. Long live Nipsey Hussle Tha Great.