INTERVIEW: Nipsey Hussle Talks Debut Album 'Victory Lap'
By Isha Thorpe
February 16, 2018
Ladies and gentlemen, the wait is finally over! Nipsey Hussle's long-awaited debut album, Victory Lap, has finally arrived and it's everything that you wanted from the West Coast G, plus so much more.
Nip has been in the game for a cool minute now. It was just back in December 2017 that the rapper celebrated the seventh anniversary of his The Marathon mixtape's release. Since that project, the MC blessed his day ones with a number of other mix tapes, the latest one being 2014's Mailbox Money. Fast forward these years later and fans are that much more excited for Nip's very first studio album.
Without a doubt, Nip is hype for his fans to hear his new LP. The rapper has been on press tour stops across the country to get the message out there that Victory Lap is coming and it's worth one or ten listens. 106 KMEL's Shady Diddy even chopped it up with the MC.
Victory Lap consists of 14 songs and two bonus tracks. We've already heard Nip's previously released singles "Last Time That I Checc'd" featuring YG and "Rap N**gas." The recording artist also blessed us with a couple videos from some of his project's tracks. Not only has Nip dropped the visual for his record with YG, but he recently released the audio vid for "Dedication" featuring Kendrick Lamar.
Other stars who are featured on the much-anticipated Victory Lap project include TeeFLii, The-Dream, Puff Daddy, CeeLo Green and more. iHeartRadio got the opportunity to speak with Nip about his album. Check out our interview below. You can buy Victory Lap here.
What’s been the reason for Victory Lap's delay?
We was in pursuit of perfection. We was trying to do something we haven't done. We was trying to push the boundary on the music, take it to the next level. We wanted it to be a clear elevation lyrically, on a songwriting level, on a production level. And I just felt like we wasn't gonna move 'til it was ready. And it is ready, so we movin'.
At what times would you say you made victory laps in your career?
In my career, it was ups and downs. One thing we've [been] known for is bouncing back off the downs. So, I believe that the 'Crenshaw' tour was a victory lap…being a little ridiculed for charging $100, but then selling out in one day; [and] having really, really iconic people support the release. I felt like us going indie and coming back into the major label situation as a partner is a victory lap, announcing our new venture with Atlantic Records in last December. Setting up the release of the album was definitely a victory lap. And then getting this album on the shelves is another victory lap. We're gonna keep elevating and keep pushing.
What’s your definition of a winner?
My definition of a winner is somebody that embraces the game wholeheartedly, the ups and the downs; [someone who] can stay motivated through the downs and stay moving forward. I read somewhere that still water is dead water. You ever see a lake that ain't flowing? It got algae in the water, you can't drink it. Flowing water is fresh water. So, a winner is somebody that just keep it moving and stay positive.
Does Victory Lap stay true to the West Coast sound?
Victory Lap is very unique on a production level. The narrative and the story that's being told is definitely West Coast because it's my story and I'm a person born and raised in L.A., on 60th Street in the Crenshaw district. So, the story, the lyrics, the songs, the words is definitely true to the West Coast sound and tradition. The production is unique. It's its own thing. It's a music statement. So, I look forward to everybody hearing it and having their take on what we did.
How was it shooting the 'Last Time That I Checc’d' music video with YG?
A lot of Don Julio 1942, it was a good time. We was celebrating, man. We came a long way collectively and individually. I remember having convos with YG early on in my old studio. I remember the first records we done together and since then all the ground we covered. All the progress we made. So, it was just another celebration of the success. We ate good, drank good, just had a good time. You could tell that [in] some of them takes that Tequila was working. We started really feeling it halfway through. But nah, it's always love when I link with my bro, man. Shout out to YG.
What do you want fans to take away from Victory Lap after listening to it?
I would like for the fans to have an understanding of me as a artist and me as a person. I would like the fans to be inspired. I would like the fans to be motivated, and obviously entertained. I like the music that put goose bumps on you when you listen, and you feel it and it's really moving you. So, I would like for that to happen to the fans, as they listen. I would like for them to walk out of the room or the car and be blown away. Like, ‘Wow, this is some of the best rap music and just music we've heard in a long time’ because to me, it's on that level.
Is there going to be a tour after its release?
Definitely gonna be on tour. I'm excited to perform these records and go into all these cities, states and countries and get onstage, and share this music with the fans. Definitely, look out for the Victory Lap tour. We're gonna announce it soon.
How do you feel now that you’re signed to Atlantic Records?
Well, I'm signed to All Money In and we partnered with Atlantic Records. So, I feel empowered. I feel we've been really working toward being able to solidify our requests and justify the terms we wanted. I feel like I'm on a winning team and in great company, partnering with Atlantic. Just being able to really mobilize all the geniuses up there in that building, and great people over there, and successful business people and creators. I feel great, man.
**WARNING: Explicit language**