Updated: Apr 11, 2019
Anyone who talked to Nipsey Hussle knew that he was wise beyond his years, and, before he was shot and killed in front of his retail store, The Marathon, in Los Angeles on Sunday (March 31), he imparted that wisdom in interviews over the course of his career.
Like his lyrics, Nip's interviews were filled with gems about the nature of money, power, success and the potential for growth even when you're coming up in a rough environment. That mindset led him to create his own businesses and stress the importance of self-reliance and ownership.
I’m not in it for the fame
"I own my company. I own the asset of this whole industry which is your masters, your intellectual property, your publishing. I’m not in it for the fame," Nipsey said in a 2013 interview with The Breakfast Club. "Everybody wanna be seen and held at the highest regard obviously but you can’t cash that out, you can’t take that to the bank."
Nipsey applied that entrepreneurial spirit in and outside of the music industry. In 2013, he launched his #Proud2Pay initiative, in which he sold his Crenshaw project for $100. In 2017, he opened The Marathon clothing store in L.A., in addition to other businesses that included a restaurant and a barbershop.
While an outside observer might have been surprised to hear of Nipsey's many business exploits, rap fans could see bits and pieces of Nip's intelligence and natural business acumen in his many interviews.
From his music to entrepreneurship, Nipsey, born Ermias Asghedom, was a self-made success story, building an empire on his own terms. In celebration of his life, XXL takes a look at 11 times Nipsey shared words of wisdom.
Check out his memorable words below.
On Never Giving Up
Big Boy in the Morning (Jan. 24, 2018)
“I’m not gon’ lie and portray this ultimate poise like I been had it figured out. Nah, I just didn’t quit. That’s the only distinguishing quality from me and probably whoever else is going through this, or went through this or is gonna go through this, is I ain’t quit. I went through every emotion with tryna pursue what I’m doing, you know what I mean? And I think what’s gon’ separate whoever’s gon go for something that you ain’t gon’ quit. You really gon’ take the stance I’ma die behind what I’m gettin’ at, right now”
On Speaking Things Into Existence
Nessa on Air ( June 8, 2018)
“That’s when I decided I’ma speak what I wanna see. And I started talking about business and I started speaking about opportunity and speaking about progress and optimism and I saw that come back to me also.”
On Maintaining His Power
CBS Los Angeles (Feb. 11, 2019)
“My experience with power, you can maintain it or you get it taken from you. You get you some newfound power and go crazy and it get taken from you quick. I try to just ground myself and be focused ‘cause it’s easy to fumble.”
On Representing Hustlers
XXL (Dec. 9, 2016)
"We represent a hustler. I think we represent inspiration. I think we represent, you know, staying down. I think we represent building yourself up from the bootstraps. I think we represent one of the main core principles of hip-hop. And my brand, being Nip Hussle, being Marathon, you know, Crenshaw, they can inspire the young people that’s not connected to the resources but they see a Nip Hussle was able to find a lane and thrive to a degree and build."