Nipsey Hussle has always been the artist who we had expected to be at the top of the rap game, due to the perfect mixture of street tales and reality raps — he knows how to tell you his story while giving you a better alternative (NOTE: much of the same could be said about West Coast peer Jay Rock, but that’s another story).
Unfortunately, Nipsey never did explode in the commercial market like those before him (ex. Snoop Dogg, The Game) or those after him (ex. Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q)…he did continue to satisfy his core fan base with mixtape after mixtape, before simply pushing his albums independently — which, quite frankly, might be the smarter thing to do in today’s technologically-forward music industry.
Then, when Crenshaw was released, he did something different — he gave his fans a choice of downloading his album for free, or buying it…to the tune of $100 American. Surprisingly (to us), he sold out in droves (even JAY Z picked up 100 copies).
The point of the story? Nipsey Hussle hasn’t gone anywhere: he’s simply found a comfortable spot in his own lane.
Fast forward to now, and we have the new release titled Mailbox Money, which, should you choose to not go with the free mixtape or iTunes purchase, is available in Limited Edition format (with extras) at $1000 a pop (there were only a 100 copies as well, which may very well be sold-out at the time of this review). Regardless of which option you pick, the body of work is essentially the same, providing more of the same ‘hood knowledge’ music from an even more mature, brighter Nipsey.
To start, look no further than tracks like ‘That’s How I Knew’, the Buddy-assisted ‘Status Symbol’ (which warms our collective souls with a sample from Rhythm’s ‘The World Is A Place’) or the politically-charged ’50 N***az’, which features lines that reflect on young Black killings, such as:
One Shot got life, Zimmerman got acquitted
Talkin’ ’bout a carjackin’, we talkin’ ’bout a killin’
Wonder why we never have faith in the system
Look at young niggas like a waste of existence…
As which his previous projects, Nipsey’s subject matter also stays in the materialistic, in ways that show you what you can achieve with hard work — the greatest example of that would be ‘A Hunnit A Show’ which features Mr. Indulgent himself, Rick Ross. The West Coast sound is also present, thanks to the likes of DJ Mustard (‘Where Yo Money At’) and Scoop Deville (‘Only A Case’).
Simply put, Mailbox Money is the perfect record for the avid Rap (or music) listener that find themselves somewhere between Young Thug or J. Cole, the want to live frivolously and pull your brothers and sisters up from below you. It’s all there for your enjoyment and enlightenment (the stream for the free, DJ Drama-hosted version of the project is also below).
SIDENOTE: Nipsey Hussle is also currently touring Europe, which isn’t to be missed…you can lock in your tickets at his official website.
PURCHASE: Nipsey Hussle – Mailbox Money