With a strong support system behind him and the voice to help visualize his personal stories, Nipsey Hussle released his anticipated album, Victory Lap.
Born Ermias Asghedom, Hussle uses his personal stories as the fuel to the vehicle that drives Victory Lap. The album brings together a bolstered roster of features such as YG, Kendrick Lamar, The-Dream, Dom Kennedy, Diddy — officially credited as Puff Daddy — and more. The feature of the artists simply pads to what Hussle has already established on Victory Lap — an album that could survive off the strength of the Los Angeles artist alone.
The road to the release hasn’t been clear of issues and setbacks, however. Hussle originally announced the album in 2014 and has been working toward its release since. Between that time and its official release, he released a handful of mixtapes to maintain a steady stream of content, but his events have with the current album. Last month, Hussle hosted a video screening for his song featuring YG, “Last Time That I Checc’d,” at his store Marathon in Los Angeles. Hussle broke up the fight between two men, Complex writes, but it would resume shortly after. Recently, at the album release party, shots were fired but it was unclear whether Hussle had been
To aid the success of the album, Hussle and his Los-Angeles-based label, All Money In, LLC, signed a multi-album partnership with Atlantic Records last November. Billboard reported the deal would allow Hussle to retain the rights to his roster of artists.
To be successful in today’s hip-hop market, artists must find their niche and perfect it. The way Hussle sees it, there is his style of music and “weirdo rap.” On both “Victory Lap” and “Rap Ni—s,” he specifically raps about his separation from the music that is out now and how he shouldn’t be affiliated with it.
They tell me, “Hussle dumb it down, you might confuse ’em”
This ain’t that weirdo rap ya’ll motherfu—s used to
Listening to the tracks in succession helps paint the story Hussle is looking to set. To me, the song “Hussle & Motivate” sounds as though it samples Jay Z’s 1998 hit “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).” The song “Status Symbol 3” gives me a hint of the beat in the chorus of “Still Tippin’,” but it could be a reach.
If you want to watch his documentary, 10 Rings, which highlights his business and more, you can watch it here. The video is for Tidal subscribers as is his interview with the Rap Radar podcast, hosted by Elliot Wilson and B. Dot. Otherwise, stream the album below.