NIPSEY HUSSLE (July 2008) | Interview By:
Nima Etminan Nipsey Hussle has been a name
that's been buzzing throughout the industry for the past few weeks. The
Slauson Boy recently inked a deal with Jon Shapiro's Cinematic Music Group
through Epic/Sony and with a major deal in his pocket is now focusing on
advancing his career to the next level.
His debut mixtape "Bullets Ain't
Got No Name Vol. 1" with Felli Fel, DJ Skee and The Empire is taking off and
he's following up with his radio single "They Roll", which features The
Game. Dubcnn sat down with Nipsey Hussle to talk about everything he's got
going on right now and his plans for the future.
He tells us about how he hooked up with The Game, working with Kanye West,
his upcoming projects and his views on the West Coast scene.
As always we have both the transcript and the audio for you to
check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to:
Dubcnn: We're right here with
Nipsey Hussle, representing the West Coast. For those who don't know you, go
ahead and introduce yourself and let us know where you're from.
What's happening everybody this is your boy neighborhood Nipsey Hussle, live
and direct, Slauson Boy representer, all day!
Dubcnn: Up until a few months ago, I wasn't familiar with you, and then all
of a sudden your name started popping up all over. Describe your game plan
and how you got into the music game.
Basically, I've been recording music for a while but up until recently I
never had an outlet to put it ou. I did a deal with Epic over there at Sony,
so we get a major deal now, we got a budget, and I just have been basically
flooding the streets with music that I had stockpiled over the last couple
of years. So I'm putting it all out right now, I got three street albums
already recorded, I'm gonna just release them over the next six to nine
months. I put out "Bullets Ain't Got No Name Vol. 1" already, I'm put out
Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 while working on the major album.
Dubcnn: How did you link up with Jon Shapiro at first and how did he help
you get to where you are now?
I met Jon Shapiro through my manager Big U (Uneek Music) and Steve Lobel. He
got the word about me through Felli Fel. Jon had asked Felli Fel who he
thought the next big West Coast artist with a chance of blowing up and Felli
said my name! From that point on he checked out my MySpace, got at my
management and we took it from there.
Dubcnn: Tell us about Cinematic Music Group, what's that all about?
Cinematic Music Group is Jon Shapiro's company and I'm the first artist on
it. It's a new brand, a new movement with distribution through Epic and
Sony. I'm the flagship artist, we have about three or four other artists
we're gonna put out too. It's an East Coast dude with a West Coast artist
and we're finna kick the door down, my nigga! I don't want to compare it to
no other label or other movement, but we just got a fresh new sound, we got
people from everywhere and we got a heavy business staff behind it to take
care of the behind the scenes shit. It's a full force movement.
Dubcnn: Your mixtape "Bullets Ain't Got No Name" is hosted by DJ Skee, The
Empire and Felli Fel, tell us how that happened.
Like I said, Felli Fel was up on my music before a lot of other people. I
had ran into him in the streets and slid him my shit and he was also fuckin'
with my manager Steve Lobel. Felli just let me know that when I'm ready,
he'd co-sign me, so when I got the music ready and put the shit together, I
holla'd at him and reached out. DJ Skee is another cat who had a network set
up already and he got a marketing plan as far as online and the streets, so
he got on board, he heard the music and believed in it, so he got behind it.
And The Empire, they're basically like the hottest mixtape circuit out here
right now so we got at them also, let them hear the music and they got
behind it. My thing is, I don't like working with people just based on the
name, I want them to be able to believe in what I'm doing so they will
devote themselves to me and believe in what I got to offer.
Dubcnn: What can fans who haven't heard your music before expect from the
The mixtape is just really displaying what I do. I make songs my nigga, I
make music about my element, where I come from. I like to say my shit is
songs. A lot of muthafuckas is just rapping. I ain't taking away nothing
from nobody but my shit has concepted out records, full songs, that's what
my shit is gonna offer. Everything else is up to the listener, they can
describe it and take it however they take it. But you ain't gonna get no
fakeness out of me, everything that I write is true, all 100% real.
Dubcnn: The song that really caught my attention though was "They Roll",
your current single with The Game. How did you first link up with The Game?
I've been knowing The Game for a minute just from running into him in L.A.,
we had met on different occasions and shit. The Game was another cat that
got at me like "When it's that time, whenever it makes sense, holla at me
I'll get behind it!" So I got the record, I laid my shit and then I brought
it to him! He hopped on it, he did the hook for me, threw the auto tune on
his voice and did his T-Pain on it. But it was fresh cause it sounded like
West Coast throwback. It just went like that! A nigga that fucks with Game
named Dougie D is another nigga I used to fuck with when I was like 16,
doing the shit putting my first little tapes out. He just happens to be real
close with Game now, so he also was instrumental to making that happen.
Dubcnn: There were some rumors that you or people around you had put
pressure on Game to work with you or something like that. You wanna clear
Yeah I'll clear that up! That's 100% false. Whoever said that, I ain't mad
at him, but get your facts straight! Game's a millionaire man, Game got
enough money to where a muthafucka can't put too much pressure on that nigga,
cause if he wanted to he could hire security and block you out. So it wasn't
about politics, it was about the nigga fuckin' with my music and me fuckin'
with his music. He's in a position where he can help a nigga out and he
reached out, got on my shit and killed it! That's the end of it.
Dubcnn: You two seem to have really hit it off well, he also bigged you up
on Power 106 recently went freestyling over "A Milli". Can we expect more
music from you and him in the future?
Yeah that's a possibility no doubt! I respect Game to the fullest cause he
gave me a shout and he looked out. But it ain't like he's gonna be on every
one of my records or that I'ma be riding his coattail or nothing like that.
But we'll definitely have shit in the future that we'll do together, the
relationship is right there so it would do nothing but help us!
Dubcnn: So what's the next step for you, what's the next project we can
The next project I'ma put out is called "Bullets Ain't Got No Name Vol. 2",
it's gonna be another street album, all original music. I'm doing a DVD
project called 60 questions, like a "Day In The Life Of" type of thing,
they're gonna interview a lot of people that knew me growing up like my
school teachers, people in my neighborhood, different producers and artists
that I've worked with. That will give people an in-depth look at who I am
from a video perspective.
In the meatime we're working on my album which is going to be released in
the summer of 2009. We're gonna go to the radio with the "They Roll" record
with me and Game so you can request that on Power 106 and K-Day. Other than
that, I'ma be working with a lot of the new West Coast artists like Killa
Twan, my nigga K-Boy from 48, Glasses Malone, I wanna do some shit with 211
I've been hearing his mixtape, his shit is hot. Niggas can look forward to
Dubcnn: I heard you and Kanye West were working on some things, what's up
Yeah man, through a mutual aquaintance, Kanye shot one of my folks a record
for me. I ain't had the chance to work with him directly yet but it's gonna
be on my next mixtape "Bullets Vol. 2". The track is called "All For The
Dough", that's the name of the Kanye West song.
Dubcnn: You seem real vocal about your affiliation with the Rollin' 60's.
You shout out Kurupt and Battlecat on "They Roll", can we expect you to work
with those fellow Rollin' 60's artists?
I mean, I ain't got no problem with Kurupt, personally I don't know the
dude. I'm 22 my nigga, Kurupt's probably a lot older than that. It ain't no
bad blood or nothing between me and that dude, I just don't personally know
him. It's a possibility we can do some music in the future, I'd be open to
it. But it's a lot of other cats from my neighborhood like my group the
Slauson Boys (myself, Cobby Supreme, Hoodsta Rob, J Stone & Tiny Draws) and
I'll also be working with people from other neighborhoods, I'm not just
stuck on my affilations. Like you said I'm very vocal about where I come
from cause I am who I am, but at the same time it don't mean that I'ma be
anti-social and block myself out from working with a Blood nigga or a nigga
from outside my hood. I'm about green, making money and making progress at
this point, so if it's mutually benefitial I'm with it.
Dubcnn: So who are you personally feeling right now on the West Coast?
I'm feeling all the real niggas that's representing our struggle and that's
not afraid to speak on our lifestyle. All the niggas, Jay Rock, Killa Twon,
K-Boy, 211, Glasses Malone, Spider Loc, all them niggas I'm feeling they
shit. I respect and salute all them niggas let's all get money my nigga.
Dubcnn: Before we go is there anything else you'dlike to let everybody know?
Just look out for my projects, Nipsey Hussle, look out for anything Nipsey
and anything Slauson Boy. It's just the beginning of the movement, the
mixtape was just the first or plenty of product we got coming, we got
merchandize, we got mixtapes, albums and all that. Look out for me and be a
part of my movement, cause I'm representing ya'll.