CRENSHAW, SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES native Rapper-Entrepreneur NIPSEY HUSSLE covers the new issue of ROLLING OUT Magazine!!!
Here are some interview interludes:
On turning his personal life experiences into relatable rap stories:
“I used what people knew about the environment to give my story context. We had so much coverage [of] gang culture before my generation. You had movies [like] Boyz N the Hood and Menace II Society. You had the L.A. riots. So I think I use that mainstream understanding of South Central L.A. to bring people into my personal experience in that environment. Hip-hop started as something that took place in the streets and came from the inner city. I think it’s rooted in struggle and community— we want to know where you came from. Public Enemy said hip-hop is the CNN for the streets. Artists speak for their environment. I think [there is] a curiosity about the context of the story.”
On giving back by promoting programs in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and, mathematics (STEM):
“The majority of my peers who grew up in gang culture are doing time, they got caught via technology. Technology is working against the streets. And it’s changing the whole reality of what can take place on the streets. I was at an age where I could perceive the world before the internet and computers. I was a part of that generation, so I saw what happened. I saw the opportunities that were created … I’m from the era of bootlegging. You could buy a CD burner and start a whole enterprise. I delivered my whole original product from a burnt DVD piece of hardware. I became Nipsey Hussle because I could burn my own CDs and sell them from the trunk of my car. You used to have to go to a big studio to record. Now you don’t have to sign a deal to get into the studio … We have to be in tech as hip-hop artists and people from the streets. We can’t just be surrounded by tech, addicted to tech — YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — but not involved in tech. I think that is where we have to go.”
On the significance and symbolism behind the title of his critically-acclaimed album VICTORY LAP:
“[There are] levels to the title. On one hand, there’s a music victory just from a purely music level. I’m not competing with the handicaps that I was competing with before. I was on probation the first seven years of my career. I couldn’t really travel as much as I wanted to. I didn’t understand the business as well. I didn’t have the most favorable business arrangements. I wasn’t in a position of having an experience to where I had the confidence to really execute my full belief … I was able to become my own boss, as an artist. I established my own label, my own studio, and created a level of independence. I have my own touring business, my own clothing and apparel line. So that’s one of the victories that that title speaks to. Also being somebody that didn’t have no family in the music industry. I didn’t have no connects to the music industry. I didn’t have no platinum artists that believed in me. I really bought my own equipment, burnt my CDs, sold them out my trunk in L.A. in the middle of gang wars and somehow ended up in the seat I’m in. That’s victory.