Hustle & Motivate: The Entrepreneurial Legacy of Nipsey Hussle

” I believe that economics is based on scarcity of markets.” Nipsey Hussle

Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of the untimely death Nipsey “Ermias Joseph Asgehedom” Hussle. He was gunned outside of clothing store The Marathon Store. Nipsey was an exceptional rap artist, activist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Nipsey Hussle made his transition at the age of 33 and left behind family, friends, and fans that loved him dearly. Nipsey used his platform to uplift his community and enhance his entrepreneur portfolio.

Nipsey Hussle began his music career in 2008 buy building a fan base by releasing free mixtapes and doing promotion tours. Nipsey argued that this method was unique because as music consumption made a transition into the digital world. He realized that his content was a cash cow. This was direct distribution as a chance to reclaim power from labels and tech companies that controlled artist payouts for music sales and streaming. By time he was signed to both Cinematic Records and Epic Records regime changes at the companies forced Nipsey to adapt and become an independent artist. His debut album was shelved when changes were made at the record labels. In 2010 he decided to leave the label, took his catalogue, signed an override which stipulated that if he joined another major label before the end of 2013, Epic Records would take a 5% cut on all earnings.

In 2013 Nipsey made $100,000 in a day in 2013 by selling 1,000 copies of his mix tape Crenshaw for $100 apiece from a pop-up store in Los Angeles used the profits to fund his music label, All Money In, No Money Out. So there is a lesson here. Nipsey made the profit and reinvested in himself for the long run. Jay Z bought 100 copies. Then he sold his mix tape Mailbox Money for $1,000 each as part of his Proud2Pay campaign. He made over $60,000 from limited editions that came with keepsakes and fan experiences that included concerts, priority access to new material and one-of-a-kind gifts, such as an old rap notebook and signed photo. While the mix tape Mailbox Money also streamed in Spotify & Google Pay, iTunes for $9.99 and free on Datpiff where it was downloaded for 272,000 times.

Nipsey enhanced his brand with business partner David Gross assisted him with purchasing the strip mall in his hometown Los Angeles in the Crenshaw area. Together they worked on a program entitled “Opportunity Zones.” The program allowed investors to move capital gains into designated low-income areas in exchange for tax breaks; new investments can tax-free. Nipsey intended to create franchises such as The Marathon Stores, barbershops, fish markets, and restaurants. Additionally, Nipsey and David Gross created Vector 90. Vector 90 is both a cultural and intellectual hub for entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. The company also provides technical training, professionalism and a curriculum for start up companies. Despite Nipsey’s passing his business partner private-equity and real estate investor, David Gross is still building Vector 90. Find out more here

Nipsey Hussle was intricate with his business activities, honed his musical craft, and created leverage. I believe he was a modern version of fellow rapper and entrepreneur Master P another self-made man. Nipsey has inspired another generation of entrepreneurs and with that being said “The Marathon Continues.”

Wealth Always Reigns Supreme

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