Written by Delmar Napue (Purpose Pieces)

As a 20 year old black American man, who do I look to in media to represent me and my ideals? Where are my role models? Where is my representation? Year after year a new movement arrives, a new slogan attached, a new code of ethics introduced. For a long time now I looked for someone to include me in the discussion. Nipsey came along and told me i didn’t need their discussion. Nipsey told me to make my own discussion and include my own people. Nipsey’s career has reminded and proved everything Jay Z told me, I see now that ownership of yourself and your work isn’t some fluke thing. Nipsey is one of the few to take control of his fate and that’s why he’s so important to the game. He’s a role model for all and his latest effort “Victory Lap” is one of the greatest examples why.

There’s so much meaning behind the concept of “Victory Lap”. For years I’ve heard Nipsey repeat and execute the mantras “All Money In” along with “The Marathon Continues”. These mantras are made so significant because of his efforts in being transparent with his business savvy throughout his career. He’s shown so many that you have to be willing to invest in yourself to be successfully independent. That only through experiences, knowledge gained, and strategic thinking, that you’ll be able to stand on the foundation you’ve built no strings attached.

If Nipsey wasn’t the artist or person he was, “Victory Lap” would be a very different project. Nipsey could’ve easily used the 16 songs provided to brag about his accomplishments and flex on whoever. Instead he used Victory Lap as a canvas, encapsulating moments of glory along with moments of trauma and setbacks. After years of listening to Nipsey he has ingrained in me the idea that there is no such thing as a loss. Years ago, when I first heard “The Marathon Continues” it just sounded cool. Now, as a young adult, a college student with goals and career aspirations, that phrase means so much more. Every setback is a learning opportunity to analyze, correct, and overcome. The point of everything you ever do should be to grow, and that’s all I’ve seen Nipsey do.

There’s so much meaning and context behind each one of Nipsey’s projects, and “Victory Lap” is no exception to that. The album is filled with themes of leadership, sacrifice, journey, struggles and everything in between. While interjecting all these ideals and beliefs into the music Nipsey is still rapping with the best of them on this album. As Sacramento rapper, “Mozzy” would say, this album is a mandatory snatch.

I believe it’s important to have a sense of identity independent of society. I’m not in favor of latching yourself onto a celebrity and expecting them to be your or someone’s role model because you lack individual direction. But at the same time, it’s great when a public figure inspires and teaches so many people how to be truly successful. So support Nipsey, because when you support him your basically supporting yourself.

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