R.I.P Nipsey Hussle: Financial Freedom and Creativity
Peace. First of all Rest in Peace to the G.O.A.T Nipsey Hussle.
I’ve been sitting on the topic of building economy since my friend Almani suggested I speak on “The True Value of Money” back in November. It’s such huge topic that I’ve held off for so long. Yet now that we’ve lost a pillar in our community who taught us about building black economy, maturity over materialism and community health and wealth, it’s time to ride for him like he said.
I still have a lot of growing to do. I am a student of life with a lot of ideas. I can share expertise only from experience. I have lived through various income brackets and I’m laying foundation for wealth to reverse the curse / cycle of poverty within my bloodline. At 20 years old, I am blessed to say I have the freedom to travel internationally and domestically through money I’ve saved, grants and partnerships. I also am not the employee of anyone, and I am able to make a living working independently doing only what I love. Nipsey has sooo much game for me and I think us all! This article will cover some stories of the come up, and the mentality, but also specific resources to use based on his suggestions and some things I’ve utilized or researched.
I’m taking up the challenge and reward of fully dedicating myself as artist, entrepreneur and a hustler by birth. It’s a process. A process to build a healthy and comfortable relationship with money. To value myself and ask to be paid well, to push past PTSD from poverty, to alleviate guilt around money, and to remove other invasive emotions or ideas that block the flow of energy, (in this case cash flow). And ultimately to apply incredible power of mind to creative entrepreneurial ideas and capacity to learn rather than to hold up self-limiting beliefs.
Upon reflection, I see what it means to be born with a hustling streak. Nipsey cut grass and shined shoes and slung dope coming up. I sold candy bars and soda out of my lunchbox in elementary and middle school. I would buy them in bulk at Costco and sell them for profit, super cutty with my secret sales in class and at lunch. Of course we did the lemonade stands and my mom was the queen of garage sales. Sometimes she would leave me outside by myself between 10–12 years old to sell the items on my own. I now realize I was learning first hand how to be resourceful and use what you’ve got access to and flip it back to yourself in higher dividends. The desire to be a supplier and a beneficiary before a consumer is priceless.
“I knew I wanted to work for myself when I was about eleven” -Nipsey Hussle
Now some people are born with that but then get stuck with the addiction to the hustle where it can become a self-imposed rat race. Because there’s a difference between being really good at making money and being really at making money work for you. That’s the part I’m trying to learn now
“You got paper like that, then why you still hustlin’?” -Mos Def (now Yasiin Bey)
“If you’ve got a plan, it’s not just like a pipe dream. You have a step-by-step list of things to do to get to your goal.” -Nipsey Hussle
Hussle dodged the rat race trap and kept his sights on investments. Cause you can stack or you can circulate! He invested in real estate, his talents and his community. He bought a strip mall and built an apartment complex on the same block right off Crenshaw Ave where he had sold dope before. He ran a store where he sold his music and attire at The Marathon Clothing. This is the beginning of building black economy and circulating dollars within the community! I would hold off on buying anything from The Marathon Clothing right now, since Nipsey has been murdered, just until we know who the money is being redirected to.
“N*ggas buying yachts
N*ggas buying jets
Make me wanna buy the block
Just to reinvest” -Nipsey Hussle
That he did. Today in the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I learned about Section 1031 “Opportunity Zones” which allows people to own franchises in low-income communities essentially tax-free. It says you do not have to pay taxes on profits if you re-invest it into another piece of real estate of equal or greater value. My thinking that Nipsey utilized this advantage which creates limitless opportunities financially. This is key, we see in black communities there are often corner stores and beauty supplies usually owned by non-black people who have caught on to this before most of us have (aside from Nipsey.) But if we look a bit, we see that we’d be protected by law to build business easier and reinvest unlimited revenue without the IRS coming for our neck.
From that point, he continued on building an empire that includes an inner-city co-working space for entrepreneurs. He also invested in STEM mentorship programs for young people who don’t typically have access to that world so that they can easily be a force in Silicon Valley should they choose to. He invested in countless other franchises as well.
Nipsey had a great feel for assets vs. liabilities and that’s what I meant by maturity over materialism. Y’all saw the old video of him talking about investing in real estate cause that can pay you back as opposed to or before chains and cars which lose value the more you wear or drive them? That’s it exactly. Assets: collecting royalties through music, collecting rent as a landlord, return on investments in in other’s corporations. Liabilities: cars, chains, sometimes owning the house you live in, loans, leasing your phone. There’s a list of resources at the bottom of this article to get started building assets.
“I just believe in ownership… I believe in investing in yourself…Your foundation should be strong.” –Nipsey Hussle
Though he decided to sign to a label at one point, he spent a lot of his music career as an independent artist. He had a feel for how we create trends as artists. Freshmen year, I learned that there are 3 different types of power: economic power (the power of money), political power (the power to make decisions) and cultural/spiritual power. We have a lot of the last one, and it’s an elusive piece that is invaluable. Everything is energy. Abundance is a lifestyle, a mind state and a vibration. May we all rise to this vibration each day.
“Before rap my last name was my lifestyle, and when I visualize success it looked like right now.” -Nipsey Hussle
Some resources to look into:
Credit Unions: an incremental and significant step to decentralize banking power and put it back into the hands of the people. To make $50 by switching over, be my referral to my bank- you and I will both receive $50 and you can do the same for your friends! To lock that in, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Coin: A crypto-currency method I learned about from Nipsey Hussle. This is a social-based investment platform where you can follow the most wealthy investors and contribute to a piece of their moves.
Robinhood: This is an investment app on my phone that I use to invest in, it’s been working for me gaining some funds so far!
Documentaries: Many of us know Nipsey Hussle was filming a documentary about the work of the great Dr. Sebi before his passing. (I will talk more about this in a future article about wellness.) Documentaries are a powerful way to share our stories. Lisa Lopes aka Left Eye also passed away when documenting her trip to see Dr. Sebi. Dr. Sebi also passed away last year under the custody of law enforcement but I digress. Shout out Ava Duvernay for her work in this realm of capturing our narratives. Additionally, I have a Tatu Vision documentary created and ready to screen and drop. I’m planning a screening for May. If you would like to contribute to this and pre-order a ticket, you can Venmo $15 (or more if you’re able) to @TatuVision.
May the souls of our loved ones rest in peace as we continue building legacy.