Bigger Than Life: A Letter to Nipsey
This ain't entertainment, it's for n*ggas on the slave ship These songs just the spirituals I swam against them waves with Ended up on shore to they amazement Now I hope the example I set's not contagious - (Dedication)
Today is April Fools Day and honestly, I wish this was a cruel joke the universe is playing on us, but it's not.
There are so many feelings with this. So I wanted to write a letter to you instead of just posting an article. Sometimes I have difficulty communicating my feelings, so I figure I'll just talk to you.
It was maybe around 2009, I had just came back home to California to visit after moving to Atlanta and went to where I had some of the most memorable moments of my life, Long Beach. It's always tradition to talk to my cousin Soli about all the music we are listening to and trade opinions and artists. I remember him saying "Cuz you ain't ready for this dude tho," as he brought up the YouTube video, " he about to take over!"
As soon as he hit play the re-tweaked Kris Kross beat came on and this skinny dude showed up on the screen uttering the words that would be his introduction to the rap game in my eyes.
I'm coming straight outta Slauson a crazy muthf*cka named Nipsey
I'm turnt up, cuz I grew up in the 60's!
See the thing is even with you reppin your hood, you were different. You not only had a strong presence of the streets but also of the community, being a man, standing on principles and even uplifted your people. Throughout the years you dropped projects from Bullets Ain't Got No Names Volume 1&2, The Marathon Continues, TMC and so on. I watched you grow with each project still reppin' your hood but there was more of an influx of who you were as a man more and more. You started becoming more vocal about the community and how we needed to change the narrative. Not to mention, you spoke about ownership the most. Ownership of music, your community, education just topic to topic you were so fluid in. I wasn't surprised, I heard the tone of your music. You were slowly becoming the biggest threat in music because of your mindset. You were a chess player. I salute the marketing moves you made with your projects but I always knew there was a bigger picture.
Taxstone always use to say he felt like you can raise your kids off Jadakiss lyrics, well I felt that way about yours. Your verses were ratchet of course and you showed off where you come from but you always had the dichotomy of a man that wanted better for his people. Was this always the plan? Was it always in your mind to start STEM education programs for kids, teach black economics, wealth and ownership? You had a bigger purpose and I'm glad you began to find it.
I watched you push Victory Lap for almost 10 years before it came to actual fruition and it couldn't have come at a better time. You had set backs but you didn't quit. Then it hit. Everyone knew who you were after Victory Lap. I felt like you was the OG that finally made it. Listenin to every word that the Tiny Loc speaks, that was me!
You got Grammy nominated and I was stunned. They're listenin, they get it! Victory Lap was a classic but we were waiting for the music and the entrepreneur moves from you even more. Some people didn't even listen to your music. They knew you because of your philanthropy. Let that sink in. You were makin sh*t shake!
You were catapulting yourself into the stars. Then last night I got a text that hurt my soul. My Uncle told me to check my IG immediately as he DM'd me the news. I looked at it for a while. "Nip gonna find these dudes....they missed up," I thought to myself. Then NBC news said that they dumped 6 in you....whoa. Okay, okay well they gonna save him, he'll be aight. Then I read the words that no day 1 fan ever wants to read. Nipsey Hussle pronounced dead. Immekidiately, I thought about when me and Soli took my homeboy to the same store you were killed at years ago.
Your brother, Black Sam, asked us if we needed any help, we said nah we just looking but really we were taking it all in. Look what you did! Look what you did with your community, with the rap game, for people in dark places. You became a motivational tool for people and they took you from us. Of course there is the speculation that this had something to do with the doc about Dr. Sebi and the government. I don't put anything past anybody. I just know you're not here anymore. I literally watched you make a 180 in your life and people were giving you your flowers while you were here. We knew you were something special. We know you ARE something special. A couple years ago when you really started pushing The Marathon Continues slogan I felt inspired. So I got it tatted on me and write under it it says Face The World one of the songs that meant the most to me. It means so much more now.
As I write this, I'm coincidentally listening to your track Bigger Than Life, that's what you were. You were bigger than hip hop and I see it throughout all the comments and people showing love to you today for different reasons. I pray for your family and I pray for everyone effected by your death. More importantly I pray for everyone that wants to be something in life and looks at your blueprint and how you took control of your own destiny. You had a line in this song that I feel is kismet right now.
The world would not know Jesus Christ if there was never Judas
Now I hope your name rings louder than ever. God got you. It's still TMC FOREVER. The Marathon WILL Continue. We didn't just lose a rapper. We lost a leader. We lost our Moses.