20 of the Best Lyrics From Nipsey Hussle’s ‘Victory Lap’ Album
It's been a long, long road to Nipsey Hussle's major label debut album, but he's finally made it. The Crenshaw rapper who first began to make waves with his G-Funk revivalist aesthetic in 2008 with his Bullets Ain't Got No Name mixtape series has dropped his debut studio album Victory Lap on Friday. And it goes hard.
Initially drawing comparisons to Snoop Dogg—both for their lanky statures and similar lyrical styles—Nipsey has since separated himself with a persona all of his own. Evolving into a business-savvy, motivational street orator with the arrival of his Marathon and Proud 2 Pay campaigns (not to mention the $100 a pop Crenshaw discs), the Slauson Avenue rep has emerged as a forward thinker, champion of the underdog and man of the people.
Having reached his ceiling as an independent artist, Nipsey Hussle made a major statement in November when he entered a partnership with Atlantic Records in conjunction with his All Money In record label. The first release under the joint venture is the aforementioned Victory Lap, a years-in-the-making body of work that feels more like an event than a typical album release. His longtime supporters share in the race to the finish line—guests like Puff Daddy, Kendrick Lamar, YG, Cee-Lo Green, Stacy Barthe, Marsha Ambrosius, Belly, Dom Kennedy and TeeFlii all chip in. But this is Nipsey's grand statement, and he makes the most of his mic time with some great bars.
XXL gave Nipsey Hussle's major label debut a spin and picked out 20 of the best lyrics from Victory Lap that speak to the soul of the hustler.
"Flew to Cancun, smokin' Cubans on the boat/And docked at Tulum just to smoke/Listening to music at the Mayan Ruins/True devotion on the bluest ocean, cruisin'/My cultural influence even rival Lucian/I'm in a greater verdict and y'all niggas blew it/They tell me, 'Hussle dumb it down, you might confuse 'em'/It's like that weirdo rap ya'll motherfuckers used to" —Nipsey Hussle
"Effort, got a L, but got an E for effort/Stretch it, dropped him off in the Mojave Desert and left him/Ain't no answer to these trick questions/Money makin' Nip, straighten out my jewelry on my bitch dresser/Well known, flick up and jail pose/Snatchin' champagne bottles from Ricos til' T show/Whatever, nigga, we playin' chess not checkers, nigga/.38 special for you clever niggas" —Nipsey Hussle
"It was visionary, either I'm genius or you niggas scary/Maybe it's both and this balance I deliver daily/For every nigga in the streets tryna feed the babies/The single mama's workin' hard not to miss a payment/And dirty money get washed on royalty statements/Black owners in this game are powerful racists/Young niggas in the set that's doin' it makeshift/Out the garage is how you end up in charge/That's how you end up in cars" —Nipsey Hussle
"What they call you where you from, nigga?/In my city, that was question number one, nigga/Lookin' at the legend I become, nigga/I can't help, but feeling like I'm the one, nigga/Remember I was on the run, nigga/Well, yeah, before you had a son, nigga/Open up your doors and kept it one with me/Held a nigga down and that was love, nigga/Nobody want to stand in front a judge, nigga/Make you think of better days like when you was winning" —Nipsey Hussle
"I'm a master of my faith, plus I'm the type of nigga own the masters to my tape/I'm in Nevada for the day, I just caught a flight from Philly, we just sold out TLA/Fresh up off of stage on my way to B of A/AMB, we L.A, tryna eat, we the way/Look, young Nips, he the great, never talk/Had a drink, I just lead to the lake/It's 80-something degrees in L.A/Fuck it, time to put some jetskis on the lake/I got a team in my bank, I don't even need an I.D at my bank" —Nipsey Hussle
"I spent my whole life thinkin' out the box/Boxin' homies three-on-one, got DP'ed but I ain't drop/Chirp on me, here I come, brrt, spin around the block/They blurped on me, said I ran a stop sign but that's a lie/I spent my whole life starin' at the stage/Playin' Sega, daddy smokin' sherm, mama playin' spades/Catchin' vapors, grandma said I'd get some Jordans for my grades/That's my baby, when she died my heart broke a hundred ways" —Kendrick Lamar
"This ain't entertainment, it's for niggas on the slave ship/These songs just the spirituals I swam against them waves wit/Ended up on shore to their amazement/I hope the example I set's not contagious/Lock us behind gates but can't tame us/Used to be stay safe, now it's stay dangerous/'Cause ain't no point in playin' defense nigga/That's why I dove off the deep end nigga, without a life jacket/Couple mil, tour the world, now my life crackin'/Cook the books, bring it back so it's no taxes" —Nipsey Hussle
"See your blood leakin', got my foot on this gas/Tossed the .40, we pull up to Daniel free and see CRASH/You know the alibi, they started shootin', we was standin' by/Ain't see nothing, but the flare from the talons fly/"I wasn't there, I was passin' by"/Matter fact, don't say shit, I'm just gon' drop you in the back and slide/That's yo weed, all the cash is mine/I took 'em both to the spot plus your phone til you back online" —Nipsey Hussle
"Pull up in motorcades, I got a show today/It's all I'm tryna do, hustle and motivate/Choppers a throwaway, hustle the Hova way/That's why they follow me, huh, they think I know the way/'Cause I took control of things, ballin' the solo way/And if you counter my trend, I make you my protégé/Slauson Ave. soldier race, niggas don't know them days/Take you in back of the buildings, make you expose your age" —Nipsey Hussle
"Hit by the rules like a fuckin' ref/I got respect in like a hundred sets/Too many chains, need another chest/Playin' no games if it wasn't chess/Cut from that cloth that you couldn't stretch/Cut from that circle you couldn't test/Heavily pressured and under stressed, even though niggas ain't show up, it was a mess/Honest as Tip playing to the left/Judge a young nigga by they address/Left us no option, what they expect/Only thing we knew for sure was to bang the set" —Nipsey Hussle
"Just wanna feel the thrust, wanna feel the texture/Wanna feel the drop top breeze, wanna feel successful/Wanna change the game, never chase a message/Never stop grindin', cherish no possessions/We ain't get accepted, we just reinvested/Things that I expected 'cause we ain't even set trip/60th to Megan, choppers for protection/FBI invests us, but they can't arrest us" —Nipsey Hussle
"Oh ya'll bloods, oh ya'll crips now/Fuck it, I'm big draws, I'm J. Prince now/I frontline wars we can't fix now/Bought latex gloves, that's no prints now/If you broke bread, you got chip now/Couple things you can't buy inside this town/Loyalty, love, and respect/And niggas will extort you out your check" —Nipsey Hussle
"Niggas died, niggas disappear, alibis, I was really there/Life of crime till I get the chair, Columbine in my trigger hair/Still I rise and I took the stairs/Feel the fire, it's a different glare/All these fights, it was never fair, bustin' knuckles till I'm swingin' fierce/Face is swollen, some I'm drippin' tears, you should know I never had a fear/You should know I never had a shot, never had a chance, still I took it here/Manage pride but I see it clear, strategize, I'm a engineer/Pick a side, gotta keep it there, switchin' up nigga, lookin' weird" —Nipsey Hussle
"I'm married to the game, that's who I made my wife/Said I die alone, I told that bitch she probably right/One thing that's for sure, not a stranger to this life/Got a safe that's full of Franklins and a shoulder full of stripes/I don't know a nigga like myself/I say self-made, meanin' I designed myself/County jail fades, you can pull my file yourself/Spot raids, swallow rocks, I'm gettin' high myself" —Nipsey Hussle
"Can't be actin' like a bitch tryna get saved, bruh/Get that dirt up off your shoulder, step yo game up/Can't be chasin' pussy, switch your ways up/Can't be fuckin' off your lucci, gotta save up/See you gon' probably fail tryna play us/Streets ain't for everybody, get your grades up/Ain't 'bout your money, you just lookin' for a stage, huh?/And all that stuntin' put a bullet in your brain, huh?" —Nipsey Hussle
"My dough inflated and I'm more creative/Signed a couple big deals, but it's no parading/See it's a couple niggas every generation/I wasn't supposed to make it out, but decode the Matrix/And when they get to speak, it's like a coded language/Reminds niggas it ain't strength in all this stolen greatness/We used to shoot at niggas' at the Mobil station/Full circle, mogul motivation" —Nipsey Hussle
"Look, I was sittin' on my Lincoln, I start thinkin'/Nigga, I ain't gon' make a hundred mil' off in these streets and/More than likely I'm gon' end up in somebody's precinct/Even worse, horse and carriage, front the church, laid off in a hearse/I dealt with it/I ain't just out here for my health with it/I weighted risk and the reward and seen the scale tippin'/Let's all get on one accord and take the world niggas/Take the money, take the power and the girls with us" —Nipsey Hussle
"High school, didn't go/Couldn't understand my plan, now you niggas know/Self made, well paid/I'm from where they tell you never touch the shell case/I'm from where they teach you never trust a pale face/Talk bangin', I can tell you 'bout a field race/Real shit, real shit, I know all my real niggas feel this/Night time, locs on/Fuckin' young bitches while they folks home" —Nipsey Hussle
"My new shit sound like it's Soul Train, Tookie Williams over Coltrane/Eric B by the rope chain, RSC we fo' sho bang/Tiny locs and they go crazy, what you know about the dope game?/Was you born in the '80s? Did your mama smoke cocaine?/Have you ever seen a whole thang?/What you drove through to the streets/'Cause you grew up on short change" —Nipsey Hussle
"I rose from a Regal, Auroras and Lincoln's/Low-pros on Alpina's, to German drop top two-seaters/Was young and prestigious, phone was matchin' my beeper/'How the fuck you 'gon reach him?', he makin' more than his teachers/Movin' forward with speed, all your morals'll leave/Only focus is cheese, now the forest is trees/Got infected with greed, distort what you see/Your worst nightmare than me, is justifyin' your means" —Nipsey Hussle