Top 5: The five best Nipsey Hussle songs of all time


Top 5: The five best Nipsey Hussle songs of all time

August 15th is the birthday of the late great rapper Nipsey Hussle, and in celebration of Hussle’s birthday, we’re going to look back at the fantastic music the rapper made and see if we can list the five best Nipsey Hussle songs of all time.

Hussle was born in the Crenshaw area of south L.A. and, since his untimely demise, has been hailed for the way he denounced gun violence in his music and crafted anthems to revive California hip hop. Musically, Hussle had an enormous impact on hip hop and, along with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, helped to re-invigorate the L.A. rap scene. 

This feature looks at the five songs that contributed most to the profound legacy that Hussle has left behind. 

Five best Nipsey Hussle songs:

5.  ‘Keys 2 The City’ (2010)

‘Keys 2 The City’ is one of the songs that really established Hussle as a legitimate L.A. artist. Containing a sample from The Dynamic Superiors’ ‘Happy Song’, Hussle’s ‘Keys 2 The City’ is a larger-than-life record that undeniably stuck a chord with Los Angeles natives who championed the record and set a sturdy foundation for Hussle to build upon.

It’s a classic record that showcases the potent talent Nipsey always was and a sad reminder of the artist he could have been.

4. ‘Forever On Some Fly Shit’ (2011)

With an ambient, floaty beat produced by L.A.-based duo THC, ‘Forever On Some Fly Shit’ is a track that’s reminiscent of a Wiz Khalifa or Curren$y track. From Hussle’s album The Marathon Continues, the song truly encapsulates the sound of hip hop in the early 2010s and is just amazing.

It was a time in the life of hip hop that will be quite polarising, given some breathing room. However, nobody can doubt the powerhouse talent of Nipsey.

3. ‘Go Long’ (2013)

‘Go Long’ featuring Houston rap legends Slim Thug, and Z-Ro is a melodic track from Hussle’s 2013 mixtape Crenshaw hosted by mixtape legend DJ Drama, who hosted all of Lil Wayne’s mixtapes. Hussle, sold limited edition physical copies for $100 and sold out, making $100,000 he went on to press more CDs.

Given a cost of only 75 cents per unit to press the CDs, each sale of Crenshaw represents a gross profit margin of more than 1300% before recording costs. For this move he has received praise from rappers such as E-40, along with Jay-Z.

2. ‘Hussle & Motivate’ (2018)

‘Hussle & Motivate’ from Hussle’s final album, Victory Lap, is vastly different from anything the rapper had released before. With a huge cohort of producers, DO Speaks, Street Symphony, Brody Brown, Larrance Dopson, and Mike N Keys sampled Jay-Z’s ‘Hard Knock Life’ and Hussle ventured out of his typical West Coast sound.

The song is proof that Nipsey was meant for bigger and better things; sadly, we’ll never get to see this come to fruition.

1. ‘Racks In The Middle’ (2018)

‘Racks In The Middle’ is Hussle’s most well-known song and was the last song he released before his death.  Produced by Hit-Boy and featuring Roddy Rich, the song went on to win a Grammy for ‘Best Rap Performance’.

After Hussle’s death, his music sales increased by close to 3,000%, and his streams increased by 1,773% in the United States, with ‘Racks in the Middle’ accumulating 3,000 units, or 11.8 million streams. The song was Hussle’s first Platinum-certified record and is his most successful song to date.