From: Los Angeles, CA
Signature Song: Nipsey Hussle "Bullet's Aint Got No Names" (2008)
When Nipsey Hussle first stepped on the scene he was hailed as the next big rapper out of L.A. There wasn't too much competition on the West Coast at that time, either. (It's a totally different story today.) Nipsey capitalized off his buzz with the excellent street single "Bullets Ain't Got No Name"—which showcased his knack for melody—and things got better for him when Game jumped on the remix.
Eventually his song "Hussle In The House" proved his songwriting skills and he started getting radio play in L.A. However, some of the overt gang references in the song led to protests and it was eventually pulled from the airwaves. Still, he made some strides by appearing on one of Snoop's albums and memorably hooking up with then-newcomer Drake for the excellent "Killers."
But since then, nothing much has gone right for him. All of his singles failed to connect and his album, Compton State of Mind, was indefinitely shelved, even though it was practically done and sounded pretty good. (We're some of the few people who actually heard it.) Eventually, he got dropped from his label Epic and he's struggled to build his buzz back, despite the fact that he's kept working hard and dropping material.