Nipsey Hussle, an LA bred, South Central/Crenshaw Legend, has dropped his debut album, Victory Lap. The gritty and street influenced album boasts of features from fellow LA rapper, Kendrick Lamar + others like Diddy, Belly and Dom Kennedy to name a few. The cries of the block Nip grew up on are emotionally visceral within each of his bars throughout the album. No stranger to West Coast classics, Nipsey brings the sounds of South Central Los Angeles straight to your ears.

The 16 track album opens up with wisdom Nip has adapted and grown from amongst the projects he grew up in. The first track, and the album title itself, Victory Lap, opens up w/ Nip’s cold experience and mindset he’s grown to know.

(‘Victory Lap’)

“Sitting on the steps feeling no feelingsLast night, it was a cold killin’
You gotta keep the devil in his hole, ni***
But you know how it go, ni***”

As the album progresses, it’s pretty evident the production on the album includes of some highly touted audio engineer’s in the industry. The album credits the likes of Mike & Keys, Murda-Beatz, Street Symphony and more to help compile a collection of infused masterpieces.

In a recent interview with NPR, Nipsey is able to dive into real incidents that he details eloquently in songs like ‘Grind All My Life’ and ‘Rap N*****’ with the Diddy feature. Specifically in ‘Grind All My Life,’ Nip details the account of an evening at a club w/ the company of Floyd Mayweather and 50 Cent where a close acquaintance of Nipsey’s was robbed of jewelry.

(From ‘Grind All My Life’)

“Las Vegas, strip pop, yeah, you creep them punks
After all that lookin’ tough, all he see was stumps
50 Cent and Mayweather flee the scene with us, true story”

Stories like these, along with stories of relationships with hip-hop greats, like Hov, accompany every track on the album.

via Urban Islandz

After finishing the project, as an hip-hop head, it seemed evident that Nipsey has gained the recognition and accolades from highly respected rappers in the game, but the radio plays and so called ‘clout,’ are seemingly absent. What this says to me, is that in a day and age of purported ‘mumble rap’ overtaking the mainstream dialogue, self-made gritty and lyrical emcee’s are still here and on the grind. This should be reassuring to any doubting the talent of the up and coming artists in the rap realm.

Catch Nipsey Hussle’s album, Victory Lap, on all streaming platforms. Follow him on instagram for new updates on his music: @nipseyhussle.