Nipsey Hussle, who recently made headlines by releasing his Crenshaw mixtape for $100 per copy, has announced that he was close to signing with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group imprint.
“Me and Rick Ross sat down and talked and he made it clear that he can make the deal that I need,” Nipsey said in a recent interview with Complex. “And I told him that I don’t need money. I need a partnership. I needed a marketing machine and I needed international distribution for my product. Ross fought tooth and nail to make that happen for me. I respect him and salute him for that, but then we ran into the corporate structure of these companies. And again, it offended me, because here you have one of the most powerful, respected niggas in the game about to make a power move that’s going to incite the culture and they want us to be the ones that compromise. They should be the ones to compromise for the culture so this thing can happen. We’re not supposed to compromise and that’s what they said. They said, ‘Just be happy with the hood and happy with the fame of it and how it’s gonna make it look. It’s gonna be big. You’re gonna be the biggest nigga out of the West,’ and all this other shit. Sell that to a ho, my nigga. I’m a man.”
Nipsey Hussle Says Magazine Editors Shouldn’t Opine On His Life
Hussle also spoke with Complex about the media network’s “Underachieving Rappers” list, where they mentioned Nipsey.
“Number one, who is an editor to have an opinion on a street nigga?” Hussle said. “Bottom line. Those editors don’t live this life. They don’t go through the struggle. I’m from the Rolling 60s, my nigga. They don’t understand what putting an album out is to me. It ain’t the same as one of them backpack niggas, or one of them college-rapping types. That ain’t the shit I do. I got enemies. I went to war for real in between albums. My life is real. So when I hear about an editor asking: What’s up with my output? I’m like: What’s up with you even commenting on my life? Niggas don’t know my life. That’s the bourgeoisie approach that I get offended by because this ain’t no bubble. This ain’t no vacuum we doing this music out of. That’s why people connect to the pain in it. Because it’s real. That’s the part they should respect. These radio hits, these charts, they don’t validate the truth and the message. That’s when I start to be like, ‘Okay, you ain’t got a record on radio. You ain’t put an album out officially, so you’re an underachiever.’
“That’s where I get offended because let’s restart this whole situation,” Hussle continued. “The metrics and the gauge of success, and of impact on the culture. It don’t got shit to do with Billboard, it don’t got shit to do with SoundScan. It don’t got shit to do with any of these platforms that the business created. This shit is a culture. This shit is our life. You understand? So in between my projects does it take a year or two, or another artist that live a real life? Does it take them a year to put a project out? Because he wants to retain ownership. He wants to do what they refuse to let you do and that’s control his own destiny. He don’t wanna be exploited by the music industry that been traditionally exploitive to our creators. Then he end up on lists like the Top 25 Underachievers.
“A lot of these artists that you got on these lists, they’re living real life and come from real places,” Hussle added. “The fact that they’re not doing 25-to-life in jail, y’all niggas better salute that. The fact that niggas ain’t running up on shit, robbing shit, stealing shit—niggas are being creative, having a positive output. Complex better respect that, period.”
Nipsey Hussle Explains Plan For Releasing Victory Lap
During the interview, Hussle said that he has strong plans for his Victory Lap release.
“I was in negotiations with a few major labels and we were almost close to a deal,” Hussle said. “So I started promoting Victory Lap as a mixtape before my album, because I was gonna drop Victory Lap, announce my deal, and go into the album, but I realized that the structure of these companies aren’t built to give me any type of ownership. They wanna give you a check. I told them keep the check, give me an asset and just market and distribute my shit. I don’t need a check. They wanted to give me all this money up front but I’m like, keep the money. Let me be involved as a partner. And niggas couldn’t do that. And it’s not because the people at the label didn’t want to help me. It’s because the corporate structure of their companies would not allow ownership. And I’m offended by that.
“I called an audible and I withstood social pressure,” Hussle said. “I believed in my heart that I would be less of a man to not stand up for what I believed in. I felt like it was racist. Like, I don’t deserve some shit I just built by myself? You want to give me some money? Oh, because you don’t think I know what the asset is? You think I don’t understand where the real value is? Well I’m offended by that and my goal changed. I didn’t do a press release or tell nobody about it. I just let my demonstration speak. And now they’ve seen the first part of it with the Crenshaw shit. That’s just a small piece of what my plan is.”