RESPECT.: And that’s a hard process too, because you have to be your worst and best critic. Nipsey: That’s a hundred percent right. And that’s the part of getting ahead. You could do one of two things: you could be like, “It’s too hard,” “I’m gonna...
RESPECT.: And that’s a hard process too, because you have to be your worst and best critic.
Nipsey: That’s a hundred percent right. And that’s the part of getting ahead. You could do one of two things: you could be like, “It’s too hard,” “I’m gonna love it ‘cause it’s me,” and just not be critical, …
RESPECT.: How did you come about picking the artists you have on this project?
Nipsey: The concept was to do the album with no rap features, but my producer heard “Dedication” fully, and he worked with Kendrick a lot, so he snuck it to him — he didn’t even tell me. He just emailed it to him and was like “Listen to this record, it’s from Nip, tell me what you think.” And Kendrick was like “I’mma lay a verse to that.” And I didn’t know nothing about it. I was at the Pac premiere — the Tupac movie premiere — and I seen Kendrick pulling up and I hopped out my car, and I was like “wassup my n***a,” and he was like “Yeah wassup bro, yeah I got the record.” I’m like… alright, for sure? He’s like, “Yeah ‘Dedication,’ you gon’ have an email pretty soon.” And I’m thinking in my head like, wait I didn’t send it to him, but like…. alright cool, you got it. But I figured that my producers had done that because he was always telling me “Let’s put so and so on this record,” and I was just like… I don’t wanna lean on features like that. I want just the actual songs. You know what I mean? To represent the value. But then when Kendrick sent the record back, I was like damn…he’s even talking about a conversation we had that night at the Pac premiere! Me, Snoop Dogg, Top Dawg from TDE, and Kendrick — we had a real convo after the Pac movie went off, just about gangbanging, and street shit in L.A., and just about the power we got as artists right now to affect that. And in the verse, Kendrick talks about that. It was just dope conversation for the project. And even YG, his convo is more like he’s talking to me on the record a little bit. Same with Kendrick, it’s like he’s talking to me, or he’s talking to his homies about me. So even the features are unique in my opinion, ‘cause it’s revolving around the story spiel. It’s not like a generic “Throw a verse on here” so that I could benefit from your celebrity. It speaks to the concept really directly. And as far as the other features — Marsha [Ambrosius], Cee-Lo [Green], Buddy, TeeFlii, etc. — I just really respect their music. Stacy Barthe on the “Victory Lap” record — that’s who’s singing on the first track of the record — I just respect her music. Like I love Cee-Lo’s music. Buddy is a dude from Compton; he’s been working in the same studio as me for the past couple of years and I got to really tap into his artistry and see what he was doing. I just really believe he’s gonna be a star, and is just an incredible songwriter.
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