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Nipsey Hussle on the Genius of Master P, Upcoming Joint Album With YG & Being the 'Tupac of His Generation'

Nipsey talks to Bilboard about his plans now that 'Victory Lap' is out. 

For the record, Nipsey Hussle never once said that his ideas weren't wild and crazy. After a brief stint with Epic Records in 2010, Nipsey scoffed at the concept of being on a major label, in hopes of gaining traction as an independent artist on the rap circuit.

While his contemporaries gained immediate success courtesy of their label signings, Hussle faced the arduous task of working backwards in order to gain stardom and liberation, later facing criticism because his debut album, Victory Lap, encountered numerous delays and setbacks. Undeterred, in 2013, the MC laughed straight to the bank after the release of his seminal project, Crenshaw, which birthed his #Proud2Pay marketing campaign. The unprecedented plan allowed Hussle to sell 1,000 copies for $100 a purchase. Not only did he manage to meet his goals, one of his childhood heroes, JAY-Z, saluted his efforts and purchased 100 copies of his own.

Unsatisfied with his impressive success, Hussle tinkered with his concept and stretched the campaign even more with his 2014 release, Mailbox Money. This time, he upped the price from $100 to $1000 and only sold 100 copies. Within the first month of selling, Nipsey managed to sell 60 copies, earning him $60,000 alone. While he could have easily continued on with the #Proud2Pay campaign, instead of exhausting the idea, he brought his label All Money In over to Atlantic Records last year, for the release of his long-awaited official debut album, Victory Lap.

Laced with bombastic production, Nip's swagger on the set is bulletproof. On the opening track, he sets the tempo by telling listeners over the soulful soundscape, "I'm prolific, so gifted/ I'm the type that's gon' go get it, no kiddin'." Even when standing alongside rap behemoth Kendrick Lamar, his level of confidence remains unruffled, as he boldly calls himself the "Tupac of my generation," on the Kendrick-featuring "Dedication."

With his debut album slated to bow in the top five on the Billboard 200, Nipsey Hussle's late arrival to the mainstream world seems to still be right on time. Now, one can only wonder, where will he go from here? Billboard sat down with the West Coast lyricist at Del Frisco Grille in New York City to talk the creation of Victory Lap, Donald Trump, the genius of Master P, his relationship with Rich Ross and MMG, and similarities he sees between himself and Tupac Shakur.

While I was in LA, I went back and I was playing your song “Killer” featuring Drake, and in my head, I started doing a comparison. You and Drake almost came up at the same time, and took very different routes, but y’all are both successful. How did you manage to get to this point where you are today, to be so successful despite any setbacks you had?

I think you said it. I took a different route. I wanted to learn how to do it myself, as an artist and as a company. I built a company at the same time I built a career. I built a label at the same time I built a career. I suffered at times and I benefited at times because of it. There was no infrastructure that I came into. I had to learn through trial and error -- I made a lot of mistakes, and I did a lot of things right. It was the route that I believed in and what was destined for me. I always had faith in my creative capacity. I say that in the most humble way: I always knew that I could perform with the best of ‘em and I could deliver with the best of ‘em.

Let’s say I accept my greatness as an artist, and fast forward to me being acknowledged globally as a great artist. In my perfect dream, how would I want my shit to be situated business-wise? I’d want to be on my own label. I’d want to represent my brothers and my team. So, I worked backwards. I believed I was going to be recognized globally as a great artist one day so I was willing to put the work in. I wanted to make sure that to get there, I didn’t diminish the opportunity to do it as All Money In and do it as my own team. That was the goal coming into it.

That’s why we had to build our value outside of the major labels so we could prove our worth. It was part of a bigger picture. To the public and to the, I guess, the critics, it might have been perceived as, “What’s taking so long?” I was comfortable with that. I never explained it, and I never went into detail about it, because I don’t ever want to make excuses. That was my strategy to get here.

One of the things I’m most proud about is, if you look at the album, it says “All Money In - Atlantic Records.” That’s my debut album. I’m really proud of the music, but I’m proud of the business structure also. That ain’t easy. That ain’t an easy thing to negotiate as an artist.

You could have taken that label route. I remember Rick Ross was looking at you heavy, and he wanted you on Maybach so hard. Though you never signed, do you ever ponder if that Maybach situation could have been something special for your career?

I’m MMG still. That’s in my heart. I’m honorary MMG. I rep Rozay shit and I believe in that brand. I think Rozay’s a genius, and I think he’s one of the most prolific artists in this generation. I rep MMG like it's my shit, like I rep All Money In.

Let’s rewind back to 2013 and your song “The Outro," where you rapped: “Peace to the city n---a I'm the hottest/ Even if the OGs don't acknowledge it.” When you walk around Cali today, in contrast to five years ago, do you feel like you finally earned that respect from the OGs, whether it's from music or what you did for the community?

At that time, I was speaking to not being embraced. Not that they owe me that, but I felt at that time in my perspective, to not embrace it was intentional -- because you can't ignore what I'm doing. I was speaking to that reality. Overall, man, I realized it ain't about nobody acknowledging you. It's about working with what you got and executing the greatness. In hindsight, nobody owed me nothing.

On that same song, you kind of spoke things into the universe, when you rapped, “When I drop an album, they’ll be proud to pay" -- which sparked your #Proud2Pay campaign. Are you surprised with how successful the idea became over the years?

I'm surprised to a degree, but I believed in it. I was inspired by a radical concept translating into reality.

Continue reading Nipsey's interview at Billboard.

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Tyler Perry Orders Independent Autopsy For Nephew Who Died In Louisiana Prison

Tyler Perry has hired a medical examiner to perform a second autopsy on his nephew’s remains after the 26 year old was found dead inside his cell at Louisiana's Union Parish Detention Center earlier in the week. Gavin Porter’s death was reported as a suicide but Perry and his family don’t believe that he took his own life.

Porter was serving 20 years for manslaughter after fatally shooting his father in front of his mother, Perry’s sister, over a “senseless argument,” the writer-director wrote on Instagram on Thursday (Feb. 27).

“The murder shook our entire family,” Perry shared. “Despite his horrible act, before he went to prison I went to see him in the local jail. I assured him that we all still loved him, but it was important to all of us, including his mother, that he was punished for this horrific crime that he committed. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

“Call me naive, but it was my hope that after serving his time, and really reflecting and showing much remorse and asking God for forgiveness, that he would have been able to come to work for me, joining all the other former inmates who work for me and turn his life around just as they have. But that day will never come.”

Officials told the family that Porter was placed in solitary confinement last weekend following a fight with other inmates.

“Three days ago, I got the horrible news that he allegedly committed suicide in prison,” Perry continued. “I say allegedly because, unfortunately, our criminal justice system and prisons have been notorious for cover ups and/or getting it wrong.”

Perry hired former New York City medical examiner, Dr. Michael Baden, who investigated JFK’s assassination, testified at the O.J. Simpson trial, and performed independent autopsies on Mike Brown and Aaron Hernandez, among others. The result of Porter’s second autopsy are expected “soon,” according to Perry.

The prison requested an investigation into Porter’s death and the alleged fight that occurred prior to his passing. “We respect the family’s right to request another autopsy to be done. This is not an unusual request.We are continuing our investigation and awaiting autopsy results,” a rep for the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office told TMZ in a statement.

Union Parish Detention Center has made headlines before over its treatment of inmates. In 2018, the prison settled a discrimination complaint for placing a detainee in segregation for six months because he was HIV positive. The following year, two prison guards were arrested for beating an inmate that complained about not getting a lunch tray. Another guard was fired and charged with malfeasance in office and simple battery for attacking an inmate “who was causing a disturbance” from his cell.

Read Perry’s full statement below.

 

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My Nephew Gavin Porter

A post shared by Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) on Feb 27, 2020 at 2:15pm PST

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Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant reacts during the Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals in Boston, Massachusetts, June 17, 2008.
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Kobe Bryant’s Sister Gets Tattoo In Honor Of Her Late Brother And Niece

Kobe Bryant’s sister immortalized her late brother and niece with a new tattoo. Sharia Washington’s tattoo features a black mamba snake shaped to look like an infinity sign with Kobe and Gigi's basketball numbers “2” and “24.”

Washington posted an image of the tattoo on Instagram on Wednesday (Feb. 26) thanking artist, Peter Barrios, for his work.

Vanessa Bryant reposted the image with the caption, “My sister-in-law got this cool tattoo to honor #GigiBryant and #Kobe. 2-24 forever. Love you @shariawash.

 

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Thank you @peterbarriostattoo 🙏🐍💕

A post shared by Sharia Washington (@shariawash) on Feb 26, 2020 at 5:26pm PST

 

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A post shared by Sharia Washington (@shariawash) on Jan 31, 2020 at 12:43pm PST

LeBron James and fellow Lakers player, Anthony Davis, got tattoos in Kobe’s honor last month.

The lives of the NBA legend and his 13-year-old daughter were celebrated during a public memorial held at the Staples Center earlier in the week, where Vanessa eulogized her late husband and daughter.

The memorial included speeches from Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal, as well as performances from Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and Christina Aguilera.

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Dylann Roof Stages Reported Hunger Strike After Accusing Prison Staff Of Harassment And Abuse

Dylann Roof reportedly staged a hunger strike in prison  because he says he's being “targeted by staff,” harassed and abused.

The White supremacist mass murderer, who is on death row for killing nine Black parishioners at a historically Black church in Charleston, S.C. in 2015 and is the first person to receive the death penalty for a hate crime, sent a letter to the Associated Press earlier in the month accusing prison staff of mistreatment. Roof also alleges that staff feels justified because he’s “hated by the general public.”

Roof is imprisoned at Terre Haute Federal Prison in Terre, Ind. The 25-year-old killer was attacked by a fellow inmate in 2016. Roof now alleges that he has been the subject of unprovoked harassment and abuse and “treated disproportionately harsh.”

Roof launched the hunger strike after allegedly being mistreated by a Bureau of Prisons disciplinary hearing officer amid previous complaints over being refused access to a copy machine.

Roof’s allegations have yet to be verified. His lawyers are currently appealing his death sentence.

According to his letter to AP, Roof claimed that his hunger strike lasted “several days.” He ended the strike because he passed out after corrections officer tried to “forcibly” take his blood and put an IV in his arm.

“I feel confident I could have gone much, much longer without food,” Roof wrote in the letter. “It’ just not worth being murdered over.”

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