With the release of his Mailbox Money album, Los Angeles, California rapper Nipsey Hussle has upped the ante, selling the project for $1,000, hundreds more than what hard copies of his last album, Crenshaw sold for.

Nipsey recently spoke with TheGuardian.com in regards to the hefty price tag for hard copies of Mailbox Money, which is available for free download. He explained that selling an album for $1,000 with the goal to inspire is more realistic than aiming for radio play or satisfying an A&R.

“The highest human act is to inspire,” Nipsey Hussle said. “Money is a tool – it’s the means, not the end. [Inspiration is] the metric that dictates whether or not a project is a success. It’s more realistic than trying to aim for radio play, or trying to satisfy an A&R, or the other gatekeepers on these platforms. I don’t even know how to create with those things in mind. But if you tell me the goal is to inspire? That makes my job a lot easier.”

The West Coast lyricist then went on to criticize labels, stating that they aren’t letting artists own anything. He later declared that artists should be in control of and own their own music.

“The labels aren’t letting us live,” he said. “They’re not letting artists own anything! We’re going to end up 60 years old without a pot to piss in – no catalogue, no mailbox money, no residuals. We’re supposed to be in control. We’re supposed to own this shit. Unless you don’t have the mental capacity to do so, but that doesn’t apply to me.”

Given that the rapper has increased the price of his albums from $100 to $1,000, he was then asked if he plans to continue boosting the price. Nipsey, who has reportedly sold 60 hard copies of Mailbox Money, revealed that for now “that isn’t the plan.”

“For the record, that isn’t the plan right now. Digital music is abundant and it’s going against the laws of nature to charge for something that is ubiquitous. It would be like charging for air,” the musician said.