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Its been four years since the death of Nipsey Hussle. When Nip transitioned it touched the entire world, from people who didn’t know him while he was alive, to his core fan-base who were devastated. The day Nipsey Hussle passed was sad, but what we learned through his death would make him immortalized.

I think I can speak for most when I say, Nip left a love letter to hip-hop when he created “Victory Lap”, in one album he gave us the blueprint to life. He covered different lessons of life in “Blue Laces 2” the journey of stardom and how to remain grounded in “Young N**gas” and the gift of transparency in “Real Big”. He gave most of us the ability to believe in ourselves. He taught us that hard work and consistency can open the doors to our dreams. “Victory Lap” took us on a journey from this kid who was selling drugs and gang-banging to a man who understood his potential and the influence he would have not just as a rapper but as a man.

Nipsey’s death lit a fire under us. It made us believe we could do anything, it gave us the desire to give back, it made us look deep within and pull out the part of us who dared to dream. For some of us, the world made us believe we couldn’t succeed. But listening to songs like “Hussle and Motivate”, “Victory Lap” and” Dedication” gave us a true understanding of what it means to live your purpose while on earth. Even after his death, discussions about understanding the after-life and the process of mourning were at the forefront. For some of us, we dealt with death our entire lives but rarely talked about how it affected us. Because Nipsey was on the brink of greatness not just in music but in his community, it made us feel that we had to continue in his footsteps of greatness. And while none of us could ever replace him, he left a piece of himself within us. Anyone who listened to his music, watched an interview or even interacted with him, has taken something from him. So even after his death we understand that he is very much present.

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