Back For The First Time
It's been a minute since the West Coast produced an artist that had the streets talking and the spirit of gritty hip hop stirring. Within the past year, Nipsey Hussle has gained national recognition as being the artist to revive the West Coast.
09:00PM ET October 14, 2009
Contributor: Nadine Graham
A Rocky Williform Company
Nipsey may be new to the world but his demeanor is very reminiscent of Snoop Dogg back in the early to mid-1990s: always calm, almost seeming sedated, walking with an easy stride, speaking in a L.A. accent with tinges of Mississippi mixed in. But Nipsey is an original. Representing Los Angeles' infamous Rolling 60's Crip gang Nipsey is the next rapper up, speaking on behalf of South Central LA, and HHB had the opportunity to talk with him about his style, his influences, and teaming up with fellow newcomer Drake.
Is your debut album finished?
I'm constantly working on my project. We were going to put it out at the end of this year but we made a decision to keep working on the records. We have a lot of big producers we're getting in with that could make the project so much bigger. We've got a lot of music to keep the fans interested until the first quarter of 2010. We're damn near done with it but I'm working everyday. I'm going all the way down to the wire.
How did 'Killers' come about?
Shout out to Drake! That was a record that just kind of happened. We just met up; he said "I'm a big fan of your shit." I said, "Likewise. We should get in and work." Then, I just sent that shit over with the verse on it, he sent it back and told me, "Do the hook." I was like, "Nah, you do the hook my nigga. You know, that's what you do. Run that shit." [smiles] Cuz knocked the shit out and it came out classic.
Name some influences.
I've got a lot of influences; a lot of new cats are some of my influences too. Obviously, Jay-Z, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and just hip hop in general. Like, all the classic hip hop artists, I'm influenced by all of them. Jeezy, Plies, everybody that's doing it right now. The whole new wave of niggas doing their shit.
What do you say to the idea of "trying to bring the West Coast back"? Do you even believe in that statement?
We're always doing what we do, you know? We're not as prominent as we were at one time as far as our presence in hip hop but the generations are changing. Everything becomes new again, so it's a new focus on California, LA and the West Coast in general. It's a new generation being creative in doing what they do and coming out different. It's still LA, it's still Cali, but it's coming out different so I think the fans are excited about the change.
What can we expect from the album?
I mean, just get my perspective you know? What I consider to be my reality as sincere as I can put it. That's everybody that comes from similar circumstances that can relate to the struggle. My whole goal of the project is 'mind over matter. Anything is possible if you just stay down. That's what I want to get across with my whole story. That's what it is.