Greetings Readers & Friends,
For this week’s post, I am going to do my part in honoring the culture, the culture of one of the misunderstood genres of music; hop-hip. I note hip-hop as misunderstood due to the great existence of original leaders and philosophers within the genre that go unnoticed, unaccounted for and/or dismissed by our country and by our world simply due to the vehicle that they chose to use to share their gifts and drive their purpose (i.e, hip-hop).
On March 31, 2019 the world lost a world leader. Los Angeles Rapper Nipsey Hussle was both the dictionary and celestial depiction of a leader. For those who are not familiar with Nipsey Hussle, please continue to read to learn about this human being and the astounding level of brilliance that he possessed using the basic algorithm of love, honor, and respect. And as you are reading, keep in mind that Nipsey Hussle was self-inspired, self-motivated, self-educated, and as a result self-made. Nipsey Hussle was handed the untimely verdict of death at the hands of his own neighborhood; the hands of those he sought to help and bring on as a teammate in the beautiful Marathon of Life.
During his short time on earth, Nipsey accomplished more than a 2 x ambitious man could accomplish in a lifetime. He was the Man and the Movement. Nipsey was LA, he was Crenshaw, he was Slouson Avenue (i.e., the street that he grew up on). Intriguing story thus far, right? It is. It really truly is. But unfortunately majority of the population wouldn’t know about this world leader who lived amongst us and in ground-zero of our country’s most dangerous geographic space. The only way that the awareness of this God-like human can be greatly exposed is if Nipsey, the man, the leader, the change agent, the community activist, was shared and honored by someone who crisscrosses his fan base boundary; someone who has the binary ability to step into the hip hop culture to honor and respect the artistry and its genius, and then step out into the 30,000 foot view of the world in order to understand and see the pain and struggle that exists within each lyric of the culture. Who is that someone that I speak of? That someone is me. That someone is you; everyday people.
Leaders are made, not born, Thus I believe that the best leaders are those who have experienced and/or been exposed to varying levels of difference through either sight, touch, or sound. Living in extreme poverty and being a gang-member, a high school drop out, and a drug dealer, Nipsey Hussle directly experienced the many levels of poverty and survival. But dispute his environment, despite his circumstances, he still found a way to exert the one rare element that connects his humanness to all of humanity regardless of difference; HOPE. Through his music and his self-educated study he learned about the “why.” Why was there poverty and why does it exist for certain types of people? How and why did the existence for certain types of people come to be, and how can it be changed for the better? Solutions! Solutions was the topic that he researched the most. He wanted people to know through examples of his own life and others, that hope is real...that hard work and dedication could lead you to a life of meaningful purpose that will elevate you above your current state. However, he knew that in order for the latter to be received that he had to educate on mental freedom; freedom of the mind to visualize and perceive beyond societal conventions, stereotypes, and prejudices. As the answer for his escape of the gang and drug life mentality, Nipsey inspired people, people of his neighborhood, people of his city, people of his state, and people of his encounter to free their minds of the possessive concept that had jailed their beliefs, thoughts, and actions for so many years. The possessive concept that you get to possess people; possess who they are, what they are, and how they will turn out. It was known for Nipsey to always say “you don’t get to possess people, you experience people.” Thus, he wanted to help his neighborhood, he wanted to help people in general understand that self-prosperity comes through the act of experiencing people; loving, honoring, and respecting them. Blocking for people and protecting the dignity of others were the motivating factors for his overall platform of social mobility and economic prosperity for the people of Crenshaw and ultimately for the people of this world.
The City, the Culture, and the Code. These were the values that Nipsey lived by. Also known as the 3Cs to cultivating purposed potential and success, Nipsey lived by these values as the foundation of his purpose to give solutions and to inspire. Standing at 6”3 he was a silent giant, but a giant none the less. The rapper and community activist believed in the power of uplift to motivate and inspire people to be their best selves and to believe in their ability to put their best selves to action as a means to better their lives. Through the ingredients of resilience and determination, Nipsey Hussle made it his life’s purpose to breathe life into the impoverished, gang-stricken area of LA known as Crenshaw through the authentic coaching bars of his music. Through the foliage of conditioned profanity and derogatory language that make up his rap lyrics, is the manifesto to social mobility and economic prosperity for the poor, for the under-served, for the forgotten to reclaim their rightful healthier and wealthier place in society.
As I prepare to conclude this post, I ask that you just take the time to listen. Listen to Nipsey’s music, his work of art. Listen past the profanity and the derogatory words that are strategically used to attract and engage, and you will hear and you will feel the lion’s strength of motivation and inspiration that Nipsey so brilliantly laced throughout every single lyric in every single song. And if you close your eyes and listen closer, you will find that it’s COLORLESS. It’s Love. It’s Honor. It’s Respect. It’s a eloquently crafted map for running the “Marathon” of Life.
Job well done Mr. Hussle! We will always be mindful of the struggle to greatness and the many shapes, sizes, and colors that it comes in. More importantly, when the game tests us, because it will, we will take heed to your guidance to NEVER FOLD and STAY 10 TOES DOWN!
Rest In Peace & Paradise Sir.
Signing off w/ Love & Light,