Seven years ago, Nipsey Hussle made a major move with Crenshaw, a mixtape that put him on the map in a major way. And while the music itself was certainly noteworthy, it was the method of release that ultimately proved most captivating. Opting for a limited run of one thousand copies priced at one hundred dollars apiece, it was immediately clear that Nip’s business savvy was a cut above. To no surprise, the project was sold out in twenty-four hours, driving up the mystique surrounding his growing legacy in the process.
As for the music itself, it feels appropriate to highlight one of the first official song on the project, “U See Us.” Off the bat, Nipsey makes it clear that he’s operating in a higher tax bracket, proving that the independent route can be as fruitful — and all the more rewarding — as the major label alternative. It’s that very bucking of expected tradition that makes these flexes resonate all the more, adding a welcome layer to what may have otherwise been a materialistic anthem. “Humble begins, but now I stunt sound hard it don’t make no sense,” he raps, in the opening verse. “Fly to Japan, they pay me in cash, convert it to yen / Bitch, I’m the man.”
Happy anniversary to Nipsey Hussle’s Crenshaw, and may his memory live on.
Top third degree, ten toes in it like a pair of sneaks
Turf trick, he need a pair of cleats
Still I stayed down and emerged a beast
Out of town, I done worked for a week
Let a young ni**a splurge in peace