The rapper and community organizer Nipsey Hussle left an indelible mark on the Crenshaw district of South Los Angeles, where he was raised. He celebrated that neighborhood, which is centered at the corner of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, however he could. Here is a look at some of the many locations along the street that influenced his music. He was killed Sunday in a shooting. Warning: Some selections contain adult language.
Look, I’m comin straight off of Slauson
A crazy mother— named Nipsey
I’m turnt up cause I grew up in the 60s
On the 2008 sequel to his breakout mixtape, Hussle busts into the opening track as if kicking through a locked door. Locating himself near Slauson and 60th Street — home to his Crip-aligned clique, the Rollin’ 60s — the rapper boasts of not only his firepower but his determination to “pay taxes to these corners and put in work — it’s a policy.”
This a Dime Blocc declaration
59th and 5th Ave, granny house with vanilla wafers
This the remedy, the separation
Hussle could certainly walk with a righteous strut, but on this 2018 track he locates himself not in the crossfire or on a busy corner, but near the 59th St. Elementary School, eating cookies at his grandma’s house. Years later he put up the funds to repave the basketball courts at the school where he grew up playing.
Still proud of what I look at in the mirror life
Hyde Park Hussle half-baked on a Paris flight
Not only did the lyricist name his 2013 mixtape after his home turf, but “Crenshaw” is festooned across the front of thousands of shirts sold by his Hyde Park-based brand, the Marathon Clothing. By 2013, Hussle had earned enough bank to identify his jet-setting, stoned-immaculate self in rhyme as “Hyde Park Hussle half-baked on a Paris flight.”
This how we ball, (Checc me out)
Slauson mall, (Checc me out)
Hyde Park is several blocks west of the Slauson Super Mall, the swap-meet retail hub name-checked by Hussle and rapper Dom Kennedy in the bridge to this track.
Legendary baller, like Mike, like Wilt
‘96 Impala thug, life on wheels
Up against the walls, squabble at Fox Hills
The tonier Fox Hills Mall, now known as Westfield Culver City, is the setting for this track from Hussle’s Grammy-nominated album “Victory Lap.” Despite rapping, “damn right I like the life I built,” the tone turns dark after an incident at the mall brings in the LAPD.
I’m a 108 bus-catching
Blue line train-riding, Westsider with the young extras
These old rules came with no questions
Taken from his 2016 mixtape “Slauson Boy 2,” this Snoop-featuring jam celebrates the city’s transit system. “Where you from,” Hussle wonders to open before answering his own question. He’s on the east-west local bus headed to a Metro train, of course.
THE MARATHON STORE
Gotta “cross my T’s” and dot my I’s or I can’t sleep well
Millions off of retail
Once again, I prevail
Though one of Hussle’s most recent tracks doesn’t identify a specific address, fans probably know by now that the late musician’s life ended in front of his Marathon Clothing store at the corner of Slauson and Crenshaw. As he told Genius of his business acumen, “When I say ‘millions off of retail,’ it can apply to the catalog of music that I put out [independently], it could apply to the album that I just put out, it could apply to the brand of Marathon or just myself.”
This technology has empowered everybody
And it’s as big as you wanna make it
A reference to the billions being made in Silicon Valley, this 2014 track predicts one of Hussle’s most ambitious initiatives, Vector 90. Described as a “coworking space, cultural hub and incubator,” the spot was created to advance Hussle’s commitment to importing into the community both money and the tools that allow residents to earn more of it.