It's hard not to examine Nipsey Hussle's music under a different lens, now that he's been brutally murdered in cold blood. When a rapper dies, their entire back catalog seems to undergo a transformation. Sometimes, a specific line can adopt an entirely different meaning. In a literary sense, moments of foreshadowing can occur, as they did with 2Pac's apparent predictions of his own fate. Perhaps it's all down to our desire to make sense of the nonsensical. How can Nipsey Hussle be gone at 33? He was only just receiving album of the year consideration for Victory Lap,
Revisiting the rapper's latest album has been difficult, but essential in the days following his death. "Blue Laces 2" proved to be an immediate standout, especially on this recent go-around. There's something almost eerie about hearing his reflections on Dr. Sebi, reflecting on how the ominous played a nefarious role form the shadows. "They killed Dr. Sebi, he was teachin' health, I fuck with Rick Ross 'cause he teachin' wealth," raps Nipsey, putting one of many layers of his character on display.
Reflective and introspective on both his entrepreneurial moves and his prior history with the Rollin' 60s, "Blue Laces 2" brings both sides of Nip's reality to life with refreshing honesty. From the musings on his own cultural and communal impact, to the flashbacks to a harrowing beachfront shootout, the song serves as a reminder of J Cole's poignant "Middle Child" bars: the real ones are dying.
Rest in peace, Nipsey.
They killed Dr. Sebi, he was teachin' health
I fuck with Rick Ross 'cause he teachin' wealth
Dropped out of school, I'ma teach myself
Made my first mil' on my own, I don't need your help
All black Tom Ford, it's a special evenin'
City council meetin', they got Hussle speakin'
Billion dollar project bout to crack the cement
So one of our investments had become strategic
Summer roll '18, man it's such a season
'Bout to make more partners look like fuckin' geniuses