Nipsey Hussle’s highly buzzed-about Victory Lap is set to be released on TIDAL next month, and fans have been waiting with bated breath. And while audiences may have expected a little taste of what is to come from Nip on February 16th in his self-released autobiographical mini-documentary (also on TIDAL), entitled“10 Rings,” earlier this month we instead got a re-introduction to Nipsey as the human being behind recent Instagram controversy and other factors that have played into his identity as one of Rap’s most polarizing figures in the 21st century.
While many belong to the camp that the theory of the “self-made” man is a myth, if there is one story in Hip-Hop that would turn a non-believer into a believer, it’s Nip’s story. His journey from LA’s Crenshaw to Crenshaw, the notorious $100 mixtape which Hov himself infamously purchased 100 copies of, was a long, rough road. And, as we come to find in “10 Rings,” a road also plagued by recent loss. We learn of the death of Nip’s business partner, Steven Donaldson and the massive impact this loss has had on him, as well as other members of his team, including his brother/business partner Blacc Sam. This leaves audiences wondering if Victory Lap will pay tribute in some way to Donaldson, carrying more emotion behind his lyrics than previous works. As he bears his soul in “10 Rings,” we see a different, more human side to Nip beneath his tough exterior.
Should we really be surprised, though? He has always done everything on his own terms and in his own way, including forgoing a label until he was in charge of seeking out his eventual contract with Atlantic Records. “10 Rings” also elaborates on some of the challenges Nip is facing presently and began to face when he started achieving vast commercial success. These stem from his desire to be in full creative control of his career in all aspects, which, as a signed artist, is not always possible. He and his partners open up in interviews about how challenging it has been for Nip to release some of his decision-making power to the folks at Atlantic, which also leaves audiences wondering if we can expect some stylistic changes when Victory Lap’s release date rolls around next month.
Nip’s journey is fascinating, as well as inspiring, and the intimate look we get into his story definitely has the potential to leave audiences eager to hear Victory Lap. What we all know about Nip is that he is inarguably one of the most naturally talented self-marketers in the entire industry, and “10 Rings” is no exception. It’s left us waiting, still, with bated breath.
– Courtney Quigley