Last Time I Checc’d, rapper Nipsey Hussle’s debut album “Victory Lap” was the leading the charge as album of the year. Early on, he was compared to Snoop Dogg but after seeing how he has taken his career and listening to this album he may be more Shawn Carter than Calvin Broadus. First announced back in 2013, “Victory Lap” seemed like it would never come after a slew of mixtapes such as “Crenshaw” and “Mailbox Money” continued to drop from the All Money In Records CEO. Having made his name as an independent artist through his innovative “Proud 2 Pay” campaign, he took his talents to the majors by signing a partnership deal to Atlantic Records back in November of last year. Artists that he tapped to help him finally cross the finish line include Puff Daddy, Kendrick Lamar, YG, Cee-Lo Green, The-Dream, Stacy Barthe, Marsha Ambrosius, Belly, Dom Kennedy and TeeFlii.
He starts the album off in a commanding lead with the Intro, which shows Nipsey delivering a tale of his come up in South Central LA over Stacy Barthe’s vocals. The intro exceptionally sets the stage for the album as it leads into “Rap Ni**as”, which finds Nipsey letting everyone know he is on a completely different level from today’s rappers. Nip continues to make his claim for album of the year using his balanced blend of business and street talk throughout the album on tracks like “Last Time I Checc’d” Featuring fellow LA rapper YG in which he spits:
“It was visionary, either I'm genius or you niggas scary/Maybe it's both and this balance I deliver daily/For every nigga in the streets tryna feed the babies/The single mama's workin' hard not to miss a payment/And dirty money get washed on royalty statements/Black owners in this game are powerful racists/Young niggas in the set that's doin' it makeshift/Out the garage is how you end up in charge/That's how you end up in cars"
As the album goes on, other standout tracks include “Dedication” feat. Kendrick Lamar, “Blue Laces 2”, “Hussle & Motivate” and “Grinding All My Life” which have stood out to become my favorite tracks, and then there the minor moments that see Nipsey slowing down in the race as heard on the track “Succa Proof”. However, he ends the album on a strong note as he crosses the finish line to take his Victory Lap with the tracks “Real Big” feat. Marsha Ambrosius, “Double Up” feat. Belly & Dom Kennedy and “Right Hand To God”.
Nipsey is currently holding the Gold in the race for album of the year and is proudly waiting to see if anyone can take his crown, the pressure is on peers to beat his time because just like his aptly titled album, hes already taking his “Victory Lap”.
Facebook: Joshua Wilborn