It’s an anomaly for someone to earn unequivocal respect from all circles of life, especially in the divisive world we live in today, but Nipsey Hussle did just that.
A true visionary, his only goal was to uplift, inspire his fans and empower everyone around him. In front of my eyes, Nipsey turned down millions of dollars and a path to instant fame in order to control his destiny with something he unequivocally believed in: full ownership.
The Marathon is much more than a clothing line, brand, or album title. It’s a way of life. Nipsey valued investing in his budding empire over chasing short-term gains. He envisioned building a dynasty for his family, friends, and partners for generations to come, and in a short time, he accomplished that. While he had the material possessions every rapper aspires to have, he also invested in his Los Angeles community, from cellphone stores and startups to buying the shopping center he made famous.
We first connected and put together the Bullets Ain’t Got No Name mixtape series in the late 2000s. This relationship later blossomed into a business alliance after Nipsey’s business partner Jorge Peniche reached out and asked if I’d be interested in managing Nip and partnering with All Money In. I didn’t have any desire to deal with the nuances of managing an artist, but Peniche said they had a different idea of how a partnership could work.
Nipsey and I shared a DIY mentality and vision for the future. We both went at it on our own with full ownership and control over our ventures, cutting out the “middlemen.” Despite our successes, we both were somewhat industry outcasts and found comfort outside the norms. Nip’s energy and aura were like no other. He explained to me his vision, what he needed, and assured me it wasn’t about typical day-to-day management. He had put his friends and family in place to handle that and just needed my support with strategy, relationships, and infrastructure to help fulfill his vision. He had conceived of the plan, he explained…