AOTY #1: Nipsey Hussle – “Victory Lap”

Victory. The perfect word to sum-up Nipsey Hussle’s 2018 and all he’s been through to get to this point. At the top of the year, the Crenshaw-native finally delivered his long-awaited, debut studio album “Victory Lap.”

If you’ve been a fan of Nip and following him since his “The Marathon” days, you know we all thought “Victory Lap” was another “Detox.” But, right after the release of “Slauson Boy 2,” it was clear Nip was readying us for the final lap.

The album is a modern-day Hip-Hop classic. Known for his motivation-rap, lyrical flow, and West-Coast vibe, Nip took all his skill & tools to 1000% on the the LP. With features like Diddy, Kendrick Lamar, and Cee-Lo Green, and sequels to some of his classic records; “Blue Laces,” Key To The City” — “VL” looked great on paper. And as we know, even better on max volume.

Album of the Year for me is also not just about the music. How was the project promoted? Any visuals? Tour? Well, Nipsey executed on all fronts. His social media promo; including small-clips of shows, interviews, etc was right on point. He then went on Tour — I had the pleasure to attend the opening show at Irving Plaza — and it was incredible. As for the visuals, “Hussle & Motivate” and “Double Up” are actual movies. Right up there for visuals of the year in my opinion. But that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.

I literally do not skip a song. “Double Up” “Keyz To The City 2” and “Blue Laces 2” are probably top 10 Nipsey songs for me all-time. And a FYI; I have many — Nipsey is my favorite rapper. However, this is not a biased decision. Months later, “VL” is still in heavy rotation and will be for years. It just feels great that Nipsey is finally getting the recognition he deserves, most notably, “VICTORY LAP” getting nominated for Rap Album of the Year. If it were up to me — give Nip the Grammy now.

Thank you Nipsey. This is your “Victory Lap…”