Joey Badass wishes more people praised Nipsey Hussle when he was still alive
After scoring his first Grammy nomination, 33-year-old rapper Nipsey Hussle was tragically shot and killed. To add insult to injury, he was murdered in front of his own store, Marathon Clothing, which he opened to revitalize the South Los Angeles neighborhood he grew up in. He also opened the workspace, Vector 90, which he hoped would spark young interest in science and technology.
“In our culture, there’s a narrative that says, ‘Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,'” Hussle said, per The LA Times. "And that’s cool but there should be something that says, ‘Follow Elon Musk, follow [Mark] Zuckerberg.’ I think that with me being influential as an artist and young and coming from the inner city, it makes sense for me to be one of the people that’s waving that flag."
In the wake of his death, Hussle's acclaimed debut studio album, Victory Lap, re-entered the Billboard charts at No. 2, beating its original peak at No. 4. What's more, his life story captivated the world; a former Crip who escaped gang life to become a successful independent rapper, then invest his money and fame in community activism. The day after he was killed, he was scheduled to meet with the LAPD to discuss anti-gang violence.
20,000 people attended Hussle's memorial service at the Staples Center, which included a performance by Stevie Wonder and the reading of a touching letter from Barack Obama. Yet the celebration of his life was bittersweet, since it took death to bring him such widespread praise.
"People go underappreciated while they are here on this Earth," observed 24-year-old Brooklyn rapper Joey Badass, during an interview with Ebro Darden on his Beats 1 Radio show. "Nobody thought we would lose Nipsey Hussle. He was one of those people that we thought we would have forever... As soon as we lose a person like that, everybody want to jump on the bandwagon. He should have been able to see the fruits of his labor."
"We gotta show love, we gotta spread love," Badass continued. "It’s extremely important that you show appreciation for your favorite artists, your favorite people, your favorite friends, your favorite family members, whatever... It’s just extremely important you never waste those moments, you always appreciate them.... Any moment it can go like that."
Badass went on to reveal that he recently told rapper/producer Tyler the Creator that his music was inspiring. "I don’t even care if a n**** tell me ‘Get out my face,’ he said. "I’m just glad I got to tell him that. You gotta give him a rose."
Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott, better known as Joey Badass, released his second studio album All-Amerikkkan Badass in 2017. He appeared on Ebro's show with his supergroup, Beast Coast, which is comprised of three New York City-based rap groups: Pro Era, The Underachievers and Flatbush Zombies.