Messiah-a leader or savior of a particular group or cause. “Messiah” the word, the definition, the position couldn’t be more fitting for Ermias Asghedom who the world would come to know as Nipsey Hussle. I was first introduced to Nipsey Hussle in 2013 when I by chance stumbled across his mixtape titled “Crenshaw“. The mixtape was released as a free digital download October 8, 2013, on mixtape hosting websites. It was also released in a limited first edition of 500 copies for $100 each including other incentives via his All Money In record label. After listening to a Nipsey Interview and hearing of the “Proud to Pay” marketing associated with the mixtape I began to dig deeper into the man and the brain behind such an unusual Campaign. Nip would later attribute some of his thought process behind the “Proud to Pay” campaign to books like Contagious written by Jonah Berger. Nip would also make mention of other books that he had drawn inspiration from such as The Spook Who Sat By The Door written by Sam Greenlee in 1968, Message To The Blackman In America written by Elijah Muhammad in 1965, Power vs. Force written by George L. Jackson in 1971 just to name a few. After discovering that Nipsey read these impactful books and many more that had such potent messages, I began to realize Nipsey is no ordinary rap artist looking to be enslaved by the vulturous record company or any other modern day societal traps. Instead he was choosing to take the path of a revolutionary leader who would use his intelligence and influence to clearly translate the relationship between culture and economics.
Upon knowing this I hadn’t quite yet become the fanatic for his music that I am today, but his message was clear and his words and voice sparked my consciousness like no rapper before him had ever accomplished. Hussle with his supreme intellect could easily be mistaken for a start up geek or a silicon valley serial entrepreneur which is extremely rare for someone coming from the culture and environment that he emerged from. Needless to say “Crenshaw” the mixtape became a staple in my everyday life. The power in Nipsey’s voice and his message became apparent and more necessity for some of the goals I was looking to accomplish for myself and the things I was looking to achieve. Whether it was rap bars featured on songs like Face the World where Nipsey raps ,”I prayed for blessings as a young nigga/Not to learn the hard lessons of a drug dealer/Triple life with a gang enhancement/The judge triple white and he hate your Blackness/Slam the gavel with a racist passion/Got you waitin’ on appeals but your patience passin’/All you’ve got to offer is a fight/It’s too late to run to Christ once you caught up in this life.” Or the times he dropped simple jewels of wisdom like “Instead of trying to build a brick wall, lay a brick every day. Eventually, you’ll look up and you’ll have a brick wall.” Nipsey Hussle became a blueprint for everyday life as well as the new american dream for many hopeless individuals. “The Last Messiah” is a Blog Series that we are dedicating to Nipsey as we revisit his body of work from his prolific thoughts to his artistic expressions. Join us in this Journey as we celebrate and thank Nipsey Hussle for helping us look at the world different.