Nipsey Hu$$le’s long-awaited debut album is finally on the horizon, and the L.A. rapper is hard at work making the project live up to the lofty standards he’s set for himself. The album, Victory Lap, has been in the works for a minute now, and Nipsey filled in XXL this week on some of the progress he’s been making, and how things have been shaping up.
“Man, it’s epic, you know what I’m saying? It’s dope,” he said during a phone call on Thursday (May 8). “I ain’t competing with nobody, I ain’t tryna sound like nothing, I’m just tryna make the best Nipsey Hu$$le album, and I’m feeling real great about what we got right now.”
His most recent project, 2013′s Crenshaw mixtape, was a massive win for Nip, as he sold the tape for $100 a pop via his Proud 2 Pay campaign directly to his fans, making waves across the hip-hop landscape for the innovative idea. The tape itself was among the best work of his career as well, with big anthemic beats underlining his street-centric lyrics. Crenshaw had guest spots from Dom Kennedy, Rick Ross, James Fauntleroy, Sade and Skeme, among others, but he may be switching the formula up when it comes to Victory Lap.
“Everything is a solo record so far,” he said about the tracks on the album, though he does acknowledge that he may have guests on the finished product. “I don’t got no features, so everything is a solo song, and we’ll figure out what happens with features. I got a ton of artists I’m fans of and I fuck with, but just what I’ve been having to say, I need three verses to say it. I think that’s one of the distinguishing factors [of Victory Lap] so far. Especially in 2014, we livin’ in a feature game. But I’m on some rap shit, I’m on some hip-hop, street shit, fully. That’s what I want the album to sound like.”
Nipsey’s been dropping some tracks and videos over the past few months—including the Hit-Boy-assisted “Alert,” his track with K Camp, “Between Us,” “6 Inch Heels” with June Summers and “Count Up That Loot,” a track he released after being forced to cancel a performance in Denver—in preparation for his Victory Lap rollout, which is expected to come this year. —Dan Rys