Who’s Next?…Nipsey Hussle
Nipsey Hussle’s life is a documentary/movie. There is no doubt that his life up to this point has been a hustle. The fact that he grew up in South Central L.A., in the midst of the Rollin’ 60’s Crip set just adds the sour blueberry on top. The politics of his neighborhood are the downfall of many, but Nipsey has used the lessons learned in the streets to help push him in the rap game.
A couple setbacks in his life didn’t stop Nipsey from putting out several mixtapes, most notably his Bullets Aint Got No Name series, and they haven’t stopped him from being honed as the next great rapper from the West Coast. Snoop Dogg is his backing, the West Coast is his platform, and Parlé was his stage to speak on his the status of his career…
Parlé: So what’s up Nipsey, how you feel right now as far as your career and everything.
Nipsey Hussle: I feel good, can’t complain. We preparin’ for the album to come out through my main method of execution.
Parlé: Oh yeah? What’s that? The main method of execution?
Nipsey Hussle: The main method of execution is work, no breaks. I always felt that you gon’ get out what u put into something. Everything in my life is put on hold for this music. Realistically, it’s been like a love-hate relationship. At 18, 19, I devoted myself to it. I sold everything I had. Me and my big brother Black Sam. My brother was under investigation for shit, and they took all my equipment and took me to jail. When I came back I fell back into the street, up until about ’08, when I got up with Epic and Cinematic Records. My first couple of months of servin’ 90 days, I was fighting a case, and goin’ back and forth to court. I don’t wanna go fully into it, but, spent advance money on lawyers a week after I got my deal. I got my deal and advance, went to Jamaica for a week, I had a lot of money but I couldn’t move. It was serious, really put a strain on me.
Parlé: That’s crazy man, but you’re out now…transitioning to another topic, tell the people where you from.
Nipsey Hussle: I’m from Crenshaw and Slauson Avenue. It’s a large area, known as the Rollin’ 60’s. I grew up over there my whole life, from ’85. This aint a campaign on the gang or for gangbangin’ but I grew up in that culture. People put me in that criticism cuz of that, but I’m tryin’ to bring change and motivation to my community.
Parlé: That’s what’s up, are you mixed with anything?
Nipsey Hussle: My moms was born in America. My pops is from Eritrea, next door to Ethiopia.
Parlé: I just had to ask, a lot of people I’ve spoken to about you say you look like Snoop a bit, and you’re a tall dude. But what’s your real name, and height?
Nipsey Hussle: My real name is Ermias Asghedom, and I’m 6’3″. Snoop is a lil’ taller, he’s about 6’5″, 6″6″. I could’ve went pro, put it like that.
Parlé: Did you play ball?
Nipsey Hussle: I played ball for a lil’ bit, in middle school and high school but it didn’t pan out cuz I wasn’t doin’ too well academically.
Parlé: I could feel that. I’m guessing basketball was a part of the lifestyle in L.A. too. But besides that, what was it really like growing up in Los Angeles?
Nipsey Hussle: My moms and pops split up when I was three. Me and my pops live in the same crib now though, but my pops came thru when he could when I was younger. It was just a failed relationship between him and my moms. It’s like any other situation when u break up with a female. But I mean, I grew up around a lil’ bit of everything. I was raised by my moms and granny. My moms was re-married to my sisters pops. I wasn’t really fond of her choice of husband so around 14 or 15 I went on my own. I moved wit granny for a lil’ bit, then on my own for real. By 15, 16 I started gettin’ into the gangbangin’ and streetlife. But my moms always stressed school and education. She put me on to prison and just bein’ a black man in America. Bein’ in the streets at a young age, L.A. is a real place. I was exposed to everything, killin’, dope sellin’, police, jail shit, politics in the hood, I had a front row seat to it all homie.
Parlé: And you grew up round the Rollin’ 60’s?
Nipsey Hussle: Yeah.
Parlé: Ya’ll still got beef wit Eight-Tray Gangsters? (The Eight-Tray Gangstas are the major rival of the Rollin’ 60’s).
Nipsey Hussle: It’s still politics, almost every neighborhood got enemies and enemy hoods in different parts of L.A. Mine in particular was the Hoovers and Eight-Trays. I’m personally, more mature with my state of thinkin’. My full-time day-to-day is music, from an individual standpoint. I met a dude that was from the Eight-Trays and he gave me a pound and told me he respected me for my music and liked what I was doin’. But that’s on an individual level. As a collective, it’s still on and crackin’ with each other. But n*ggas is really only gangbangin’ cause of a lack of options. Wherever a dude might be at now is out of hopelessness. There aren’t many other options, but if he could play ball, or rap, or take control of Magic Mountain he’ll choose that! But that’s what the environment got to offer. The hood is consistent where other things is in and out ya life.
Parlé: Does the street life and rap star life go hand in hand in any way? And if they don’t then how are they different?
Nipsey Hussle: Being in the street gives you a deep understanding of people. You playing for keeps. In music its your career; and in the streets its your life. For me, with both the streets and music, respect comes first. I won’t sign or do business with a person if I don’t respect ‘em. All money aint good money homie. I got my own understanding of life, if I don’t f*ck with you personally, I can’t do business with you. Same thing wit a female. I’m not gon f*ck you if you look good or just ’cause you say you got good p*ssy. If I don’t like you, I just can’t f*ck with you, money won’t make me move every time.