Slauson Boy 2

Slauson Boy 2

It was nothing short of a tragedy when Nipsey Hussle was senselessly killed in March 2019, but if there’s any consolation to be found, it’s in the music he left behind, where his powerful legacy is distilled. Slauson Boy 2 exemplifies how the Crenshaw native embodied hip-hop at its best: With style and conviction, he rapped his dreams into existence on his own terms, telling true-life gangster tales that paved the way for real community-building (specifically, in his case, the corner of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard). Nipsey’s clear-eyed, cool-headed flow is enough to hold the project together, bouncing over low-key beats that put a new spin on West Coast classicism. But you’d be wise to pay close attention to the game Nipsey generously spits throughout, espousing his ideals of staying independent, buying back the block, and believing in your own self-worth: “You make your dream realer, and you make your team better,” he raps on “Down as a Great.” The hook of that same song goes, “I’m tryna go down as a great.” That he achieved it goes without saying.

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