YG and Nipsey Hussle's creative partnership can be traced back to the Re-Up'd era, well before the Compton native shed his "jerk" stylings to become the hardnosed rapper he is today. In 2012, the pair combined with 2 Chainz for "#Grindmode," a song which saw Nipsey Hussle run rampant in the final stretch to great effect.
Up to that point, 4Hunnid Degreez was arguably the biggest stage Nipsey had seen in his career. The DJ Mustard-produced mixtape would prove to be equally portentous for a good number of their peers - namely Tyga, and Meek Mill on "I'm A Thug." All the acts I just mentioned were well-established when this project dropped in 2012. And yet, the upward slope that would ensue, only came together once they forged a collective voice on 4hunnid Degreez.
In 2019, YG sits atop his division uncontested. Tyga holds dominion over party/club-inspired hip-hop. Meek Mill outgrew his prodigal status to become the veritable people's champ (but not before overcoming tons of adversity, mind you).
4Hunnid Degreez would eventually take on a certain air of importance in the years to come. Furthermore, "I'm A Thug" would be instrumental in toughening up Meek Mill's public image, after a series of bust-ups (we've long since forgotten) threatened to derail his upward momentum.
Started with an eight-ball, then I bought a quarter back (Yuh)
Put a price on your head, n---a, I could order that
Cocaine-selling (Selling), two-time felon (Felon)
Y'all n---s telling, fuck around we crack your melon.
- Meek Mill