3 Lessons We Can Learn From Nipsey Hussle
L.A. rapper Nipsey Hussle’s untimely death has sent shockwaves through the hip-hop community and black community. Here is someone who seemed to be doing everything right… EVERYTHING positive, and yet still his light was dimmed. He was just hitting his stride. Building a real estate portfolio, owning businesses, becoming a philanthropist, April 1st he was going to meet with LAPD to discuss gang truces. Loved his city and his community and worked tirelessly to improve conditions.
1. Find Your Roots
In 2004 when Nipsey traveled to Eritrea for the first time to meet his paternal family, his lineage, it opened his eyes to a lot of things about the way he was living and how he looked at life. Click To Tweet Not only did he learn about his language, spiritual, and belief systems, he learned about himself as a man. It seemed to transform him from a mindset standpoint. You can find video from his pilgrimage online. I believe he was a changed person after that journey.
I remember the first time I went to St. Lucia to meet my family, I’ll never forget the cab driver. We told him we were there to me my family. He said you always have to know your roots. It’s so true. Without strong roots, a tree will bend or break from mild pressure. There’s a metaphor there.
Just yesterday one of my Twitter followers who has been in search for her father and her paternal family after not knowing about them, found them on Facebook I believe it was. Don’t ever dismiss not knowing about your lineage or familial roots trivial or unimportant. There is nothing more important.
If you don’t know your father, your mother, re-connect if possible, don’t know what country or tribe you come from, find out.
2. Commitment To A Vision
Whether it was 2004 or sometime earlier, it’s clear that Nipsey Hussle had a long term vision. He named his first album Victory Lap. Meaning he the won the race, the race was the many mixtapes he put out, the businesses he built with his brother and partners.
He spoke about how in the beginning, they did shows for free just to get his music out there. Ask yourself, what are you willing to do for free if it means fulfilling a long term vision? Many people aren’t willing to labor for free even if it leads to long term fulfillment.
If you’re reading this and have to work for free now, or aren’t where you want to be exactly, know that the longer you stick with it, the easier it will get. The rewards will become greater.
This website is the 2nd iteration of a blog I started in 2007 or so, I shut it down in 2009 (foolishly). Began Astrochologist.com and here I am 10 years later, ranking PR1 for many Astrological keywords, and getting business from search traffic. No marketing, nothing.
It’s often this long term outlook that is the reason why people don’t succeed at their goals. It sounds cliche’ but chess…not checkers.
3. Love Of Community
He loved where he loved so much that he never left, even though he became a millionaire entrepreneur. He never left. Nipsey focused on revitalizing his community through businesses, education, healthier food options, you name it, he was working to address it.
He was producing for the community (Check out How To Be A Producer) at all levels because he loved where he lived, and the people that lived there. Hometown hero.
What I do is give away produce I grow in my garden to local food pantries. Feeding people healthy, organic, produce locally grown. I’m looking to do more in that regard. Increasing output, and growing more greens.
Support your community, work in your community. You don’t have to be on the city council or run for office. But you should be contributing something besides the bare minimum. You’ll find that it’s unquestionably worth your time.
Nipsey had an amazing team around him, starting with his brother Blacc Sam. Sam has no social media , doesn’t drink or do drugs, and is totally committed to the business, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Nipsey was the star, the marketing genius. His music was the marketing vehicle for his brand. Same handled the business. Then they both hired creative people to design apparel.
David Gross was and is a real estate partner, so they have different partners, team members addressing different branches of income for them.
In Why You Need To Start An Online Business Today I talk about the importance of outsourcing and delegating work. Find people who do things you can’t do, vet them, see if their vision aligns with yours. See if they have the same moral compass, the same integrity. Outsource some jobs, see how they fare, then work on longer team collaborations.
Be willing to put ego aside, and play your position, allow others to play their positions in order to fulfill your aspirations.
This is something that can’t be emphasized enough. Respect all fear none. He didn’t seem to fear anyone, but he respected everyone. The homeless man who he hired as the guy who’d keep the grounds clean at his mini-mall, he humanized him. Treated him with dignity, respect, even though this man had nothing really to offer Nipsey.
That’s the height of humility. Is treating someone who can’t do anything for you, like you would someone who can do everything for you.
And all around the rap game, people talk about how great of a man Nipsey was. How loved he was. How revered he was.
Ask yourself this question. What do people say about me when I’m not around? If you think it’s negatively, you may need to evaluate how you treat others. Do you talk down to people? Do you treat those who can’t do anything for you…poorly? Naturally, you will have your bad days. We all do… where we’re just not in the mood. But if it’s a consistent theme with you, you may want to check yourself. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And your reputation is the most important thing you own.
Bonus : Accepting Flawed Past
He was in a gang. Some will sentence you to death over that kind of information. He owned who he was and who he was affiliated with and wanted to transform what it meant to be a crip. Click To Tweet
He accepted that and all that came with it. He was a part of L.A. gang culture which brought dangers with it. In fact his friend who just got released from prison, who he was taking shopping, is facing a parole violation for associating with a gang member. As wrong as that is, it speaks to what could have happened to Nipsey had the roles been reversed.
There’s more I can add from someone who lived such a rich, full life in such a short period of time. He left us many messages, lessons, and gems that we would be foolish to ignore. He was a leader and teacher as much as he was a rapper.