Nipsey Hussle 'Victory Lap' Review
Atlanta, LA, & Chicago are my personal top three cities that have been running hip-hop since the 2000s; from the sonic sounds to the cultural impact including style of attire, lingo, swag, impact, & influence. Each city has had their shining moments throughout the 2000s with Atlanta leading the scoreboard. Chicago had it’s legendary moment with the introduction of Drill music to the the world in 2012.
Recently after careful review and consideration of the last 2-3 years, it’s safe to conclude that the West Coast rap scene has the best quality music right now. This isn’t to take away from the New West movement that took place back in the early-mid 2000s right around the time rapper Game dropped The Documentary. But Im loving today’s West Coast music coming from YG, Ty Dolla Sign, RJ, AD, & lets not forget the current king of the West and his label, Top Dawg Entertainment, which also happens to be the best team in hip-hop right now. But among all of these current LA greats lies one whom we’ve all been anticipating for this year in 2018: Nipsey Hussle.
Neighborhood Nip had announced his debut album Victory Lap back in 2013 after releasing his acclaimed mixtape with DJ Drama titled Crenshaw. Between releasing projects in between time while dealing with constant pushback resulting in the delay of the album, it was certain that Victory Lap was Detox status. But low and behold, Nipsey decided to drop his first single Rap Niggas on us. Not only did he drop his single but he actually gave us a release date for his debut. Talk about a double Whammy.
Nip continued to drop his singles, “Last Time That I Checc’d” with YG and “Dedication with Kendrick Lamar.He also dropped Been Down with Swizz Beatz, however it didn’t make it on the album tracklist. Each track that released was nothing short of amazing.It was refreshing to hear the direction Nipsey was going in for his debut album. All it did was heighten our expectations more. The album ended up being everything that we imagined when it officially released on February 16th.
According to Nipsey, the theme of Victory Lap is the collection of his significant life stories that shaped his existence and overall meaning of the album, his brand and what he stands for as a entrepreneur.
It’s tough to really sit back and pick which favorite tracks stand out the most because just when you think you’ve found those important life gems necessary on cuts like Dedication, you let the album play and hear Blue Laces 2, Hussle & Motivate, & Status Symbol 3. All of sudden you’re motivated all over again and are ready to get back out there and get back on your grind. Dedication with Kendrick is one of my favorite tracks on the album. When I listen to that record, it truly sets the tone for what the entire album stands for. Everytime I hear the hook, I get the chills and reminder to keep continuing to “step my shit up” in life. Not to mention, Kendrick blessing us again with another fire feature, where he makes mention of a conversation him & Nipsey had with Top and Snoop during the 2017 biopic premier of All Eyez on Me.
Hussle & Motivate is another favorite of mines off the album, from the Annie sample flip to the cash money shit talk that will drive you and make you question what you doing with your life. This is a record where you need to play this either when you first wake up in the morning or when you’re on your way to work.
On his recent Breakfast Club interview, Nip said he was able to clear the Annie sample through Jay-Z and found out that back when Jay originally cleared the sample for his song, Hard Knock Life, he negotiated a deal where every rapper after him can use that sample as well. Hearing him tell that story made me appreciate the record more and reminded me why Jay-Z is who he is today: the greatest of all time. Hov did that so hopefully you won’t have to go through that.
Not only does this album promote the message of entrepreneurship, success,& being self-made, but also contains albums cuts like Status Symbol 3, Keys to the City 2, & Succa Proof that bang when you’re in the whip. Right now, Victory Lap is the best Rap album of 2018. Granted that we still have a long year ahead, It really took Nipsey 5 years in the making to create this incredible body of art and Im confident that not only its going to stay in rotation all 2018 but is going to age very well in the long run. Long live the Marathon.