After appearing in the March 2019 issue of GQ alongside girlfriend Lauren London, Nipsey Hussle is now memorialized in another GQ article, titled “The Light of Los Angeles.” The outlet gathered Nipsey’s closest friends, colleagues and family for an oral history depicting the late rapper’s legacy.
“I met Nipsey back in ‘09,” Rick Ross shared. “I told him, ‘I see the impact you will make on the world.’ I always knew he would be bigger than just music. I saw it from the beginning.”
Ross had initially tried to sign Nipsey to his Maybach Music Group label.
“Nipsey had his own aspirations for independence. I respected his position. We didn’t close the deal, but we always stayed in touch,” he told GQ. “Nipsey’s legacy will be that he lived in and lived out his purpose. He did everything with purpose.”
DJ Khaled also remembered trying to sign the Victory Lap rapper.
“I actually tried to sign him. I’d seen his documentary on WorldStar, and I was like, ‘This kid is special,’” he said. “If you listen to every interview he did, it’s incredible. Like the man was speaking and you can learn from it now and years from now.”
“I was calling him to do a record for my album. We met up in Miami, he came by my house,” he said. “We had an amazing lunch and an amazing conversation about my kids and his kids in the backyard. We talked about investments. He told me about his mother, his grandma, and his pops. I told him, ‘Man, you should put that in a song one day.’ That first verse of ‘Higher’ was what he was telling me in the backyard.”
Meek Mill also remembered Nipsey, calling him “cool, calm and collected.”
“He wasn’t really talking that much. When you come from the streets, you don’t really show your emotions around new people you meet,” Meek said. “As I got a chance to know him, I learned he had a good heart. A pure heart. His energy was good.”
“He’s a king. He overcame all types of obstacles, changed his life around,” he continued.
Dom Kennedy, a longtime collaborator, spoke on what Nipsey meant to his Los Angeles community, beyond his music.
“It bothers me when people say he’s just a rapper,” Dom told GQ. “He kind of humanized the young Black experience. He modernized the Malcolm X thing.”
“He was not confused about who he was and what his mission was, and it was the upliftment of us, as a people,” Lauren London said about her late partner. “I can’t talk about our last day together, and I still have to be strong for my children. I have a three-year-old that’s still asking, ‘Where is Daddy?’ He doesn’t understand the concept of death.”
Read the full Nipsey Hussle feature here.