7 Essential Nipsey Hussle Songs on What Would Have Been His 36th Birthday

On August 15, 1985, Nipsey Hussle was born in Crenshaw, Los Angeles, CA. Born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, he would go on to have a prolific rap career that was cut short on March 31, 2019. And at that time, he was killed in broad daylight, allegedly by a one-time friend.

According to Revolt TV, Eric Holder, Jr. — his accused killer — recently asked for a bail reduction. Holder claims he poses no flight risk. But Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John McKinney believes that Holder murdered Asghedom after he was dubbed “a snitch.” Holder, who has pled not guilty to the charges, has been indicted on one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and weapons charges. No trial date has yet been set.

Rather than focus on his alleged killer, however, we would like to take a look back at Nipsey Hussle’s legacy. Here, then, are seven essential songs from his career to add to your playlist today.

Nipsey Hussle, pictured here, would have been 36 years old today
Nipsey Hussle | Prince Williams/WireImage

‘Hussle and Motivate’ is considered a definitive Nipsey Hussle song

“Hussle and Motivate” is perhaps one of the best-known songs by Nipsey Hussle. It came off the rapper’s debut album, Victory Lap. The album is the only one that the rapper released in his lifetime. Prior to his major studio release, Hussle only released a string of mixtapes that were popular in the greater Los Angeles area.

One of the first songs that brought Nipsey Hussle to the attention of some of hip hop’s most respected publications was “Racks in the Middle.” Billboard Magazine said that it “takes listeners on a ride with expensive tastes. Private jets and million-dollar sports cars are highlighted as the track breaks down the highs of success and lows of their enemies.”

‘Grinding All My Life’ is considered a motivational Nipsey Hussle song

Nipsey Hussle wasn’t afraid to motivate his listeners. “Grinding All My Life” is the perfect example of that motivational drive. It was produced by Murda Beatz and was also featured on Victory Lap.

And he wasn’t afraid to team up with other rappers in his music

Throughout his career, other rappers wanted to team up with Nipsey Hussle. Dom Kennedy teamed up with the Los Angeles rapper for “Double Up.” YG enlisted him for help on “Last Time That I Checc’d.” And Swizz Beatz did his thing on “Been Down.”

He even went mainstream with a song featuring John Legend and DJ Khaled

The most mainstream track that Nipsey Hussle ever did was “Higher.” This was a song where he was featured alongside DJ Khaled and John Legend. The song was DJ Khaled’s third single off his album, Father of Asahd. The music video, which was filmed right before Hussle’s death, became extremely popular upon its release. It was even dedicated to his memory.

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