Oakland, CA — August 15th marks the late Nipsey Hussle's 34th birthday. Nipsey Hussle's impact on his community is immeasurable. His legacy inspired South Central and beyond, creating countless opportunities for those in his community. His career emblematizes perseverance, Nipsey showed that even with all the odds against you, you can win. He showed us that no matter your circumstances, you can create the tools you need to succeed. His clothing store, The Marathon, was proof of that, as was his music career.
As an independent artist who was catapulted to the masses by his like-minded fans, Nipsey's legacy stands tall. The Marathon mantra continues to serve as a blueprint for those who are starting to embark on their own.
In honor of Nipsey's legacy, we asked young people at YR Media about Nipsey's marathon and what their marathon looks like.
Will Flattery-Vickness, Photographer
Marathon: Learning to express myself
In the beginning, it was Nipsey's passion that caught my attention. Even in his lyrics, he preaches about his pride for his neighborhood. The bravery when it comes to standing up for what he believes in. There are so many examples from his life, like how he bought a whole business park and hired people from his community — that shouldn’t be ignored.
Nipsey’s legacy has impacted my creativity in the way that it kind of made me think about being as honest as possible in every art form that I participate in. My marathon is being able to fully express myself while being less sensitive and defensive to take comments as constructive feedback. I think that both improves my wellbeing and how others see me. The support from friends and family is what motivates me on my marathon, which I definitely think is why Nipsey got to be as successful as he was.
Annie King, Singer
Marathon - Each one teach one/Never give up
Nipsey wasn't afraid to be himself despite his background and being in a gang. He still had morals and things he actually stood for. That didn't change with his success. He always told you to be yourself and to work for it. He always said it was either hidden or it's known. He wants you to go for your dreams, stand for what you believe in and don't be afraid to do that —to stand in your truths.
You can't allow anybody to define you, you have to define yourself for yourself. Don't let these titles define you, you define yourself. I think that's something I would uphold on my own. Me, myself and I. I don't know how I would describe my own marathon, because, honestly, I'm still running it. Honestly, inspiring others and sharing wisdom to my friends or anyone willing to take it as I learn and grow.
My wisdom is bigger. I know that sounds cliche, but I've been motivating myself my whole life. That will never change, so it's me, myself and I. My growing and glowing process. My dreams and aspirations. I have big dreams. I feel like it's bigger than me already, I know that I'm going to touch a lot of people. I already know...and as long as I already know, I have to keep going so that when I get there, I can say I did it.
Jordan Gill, Musician
Marathon: Spreading love and peace
I just want to be able to take care of myself and my family — like Nipsey with Lauren London. He took care of her children even though they weren't his blood. It takes a lot for someone to do that. That amount of selflessness, love, and trust is hard to find these days. So my marathon is one that is going to be focused toward peace, love and compassion.
My family motivates me to stick to my own path. I appreciate their love because not very many people get it. So, I hold them close. Nipsey’s career made me open up more. A couple of years ago, I wouldn't have even done this interview with you. Honestly, I used to be closed off and didn't talk about how I felt. Nipsey helped me open up to the world.
Jessica "Money Maka" Brown
Marathon: Being true to my vision and myself
I would just say the fact that he was so young and had a lot of knowledge that he was trying to pass onto his community for sure caught my attention. His mindset was “go buy yourself some property and invest. Invest in your community. Put your people on." It kind of made me want to talk about some more real topics. Not talking about what everybody talks about — cars and money and all that.
I want to talk about some deeper things now. I want to bring Oakland closer together. I mean, Oakland is already pretty close but I feel like we’re kind of losing touch now. I feel like Oakland just isn’t as intact as it was back in the day. I would say that I think my marathon is to get people to care about what I’m doing, or why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m a female rapper from the Bay and I go stupid, and I just want people to rock with true talent.