Off the Beat w/ Marc Lacy: Nipsey Hussle’s Legacy, A Teachable Moment?

Photo Credit: XXL Mag

That is, how will parents of aspiring rappers frame Nipsey’s legacy? Will they be compelled to include all of the positive the young man stood for? Or will they be nudged to speak on the reality that exists within the hip-hop culture that sometimes results in beefs that are settled on records, or beefs that are settled in the streets.

Mind you, just like in everyday life, there are known beefs, and silent or hidden beefs whose results often in up unfortunately in a casualty or fatality. Here’s the deal, markets such as LA, New York, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, and Detroit, just to name a few are sprawling with rap talent. ATL is the rap capital of the south and its population is growing by the day. With that said, what will hardworking parents convey to their offspring who idolize the hip-hop culture and want to become rappers? Will they discourage them from pursuing that type of career with the dangers that history says are prevalent in the culture?

Or will they encourage them to go all out with it and make sure they put something into the community while at it? Bottom line, no loving parent on this earth wants to see their child put in harm’s way, however no loving parent wants to deprive their child of pursuing something they’re passionate about, either.

Let’s get real. Nipsey Hussle was an icon in his community and in the rap game as a whole whose already strong legacy will only get stronger as the time goes on. As his popularity grew and his bank accounts increased, he never turned his back on the community. His emphasis on ownership, entrepreneurship, investing, community organizing, and production made a huge impact on the community.

Nipsey owned his recording masters and made sure his family was financial set before he passed away. He represented everything that hip-hop should and needs to be about. Heck, Hussle represented also what everyday life for every hard-working citizen should be like. Preparation will always be a name synonymous with Nipsey and what the rapper stood for. The impact this young man had on the community and world simply cannot be downplayed or denied. The example he set can and should be a blueprint not only for aspiring and current rappers; but anyone going into business and wants to make a difference in their community.

In any type of profession, if a person really excels, they are going to have proverbial “haters.” Haters have been around since the beginning to time and will always be around. Haters express themselves in many different ways. Sometimes the extent could be merely trolling on social media, or just pouting when they see their subject in person. However, let’s not tap dance around the extreme. In some instances, unfortunately, the behavior of haters can result in bodily harm, or even death. Of course history shows that any sub-culture tied to the streets and street life entails the “anything goes” philosophy.

Additionally, people who are genuinely a part of the street culture know what it’s about and always rightfully discourage youngsters from intentionally leading that particular lifestyle just because they may think it’s cool. Furthermore this very thing is the reason why those born and raised in the streets take offense to rappers and others who are not from the streets; but are getting paid by glamorizing the lifestyle through songs and lyrics.

The streets are real and the things that come with the lifestyle can be flagrant, overwhelming, deadly, and terrifying. But this is one of the main reasons Nipsey Hussle was so revered. There was nothing artificial about his familiarity of the streets, the life, and the culture. He could have a genuine conversation with someone from the streets, corporate sector, or a city representative.

In my humble opinion, if parents have children who aspire to be rappers, they should keep it real and speak about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Honestly, they could use the Nipsey Hussle situation to paint the complete picture. Nipsey’s life epitomized the good to the absolute highest degree. Certain elements that came with the lifestyle, represent the bad. However, how his life was unfortunately shortened, represents the ugly. Bear in mind, the rap game is not the only musical genre in which a disdain for another person in the industry can occur.

It happens in all genres of music, sports, various other entertainment, and corporate professions. If your child has the talent and dedication, when they reach a certain age, you have to respect the fact that they have to then make their own decisions. The only thing you can do is put the real out there and hope they listen. But also say a prayer for them that they will go as far as they can go with their skill and work ethic, put the community on their back, while being as safe as they can possibly be. Nipsey Hussle left a powerful blueprint that all aspiring rappers should look into emulating.

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