Reflections on the rapper’s passing

Nipsey Hussle on a boat with his left hand raised. A still from his music video for “Victory Lap”
Nipsey Hussle on a boat with his left hand raised. A still from his music video for “Victory Lap”

“Don’t let the water in the boat,” Nipsey Hussle told me on February 22, 2018, six days after the release of his album Victory Lap. “The boat’ll never go down if you don’t let the water in the boat.” It was advice he shared with his daughter sometimes, wise words to hang onto when facing any kind of adversity.

“And that’s just water,” he said. “You know what I’m sayin’? That’s just rough seas. We got a destination. We tryin’ to get across the ocean to the other country, or to whatever land on the other side of this water…


The marathon continues for the Crenshaw icon’s fight for financial empowerment

Illustration: Kingsley Nebechi

Back in 2006, a fresh-faced 21-year-old rapper named Nipsey Hussle, who the year prior had released his first official mixtape, Slauson Boy Vol. 1, spoke with legendary hip-hop journalist Davey D at the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network’s “Get Your Money Right” summit. The conversation lasted only five minutes, but it spoke volumes.

Nip was sporting a small diamond stud in each earlobe and a Cuban link chain draped over his oversized white T-shirt. Still, the look struck Davey D as understated, at least for an up-and-coming rapper of the day. “How come you not blingin’ and havin’ all kind…

Rob Kenner

Journalist. Editor. Producer. Author, ‘The Marathon Don’t Stop’ (Atria Books 2021) https://linktr.ee/RobKenner

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