“I’m humble, inspired, a lot of things,” Nipsey Hussle said on the red carpet at last year’s Grammy Awards ceremony, standing beside his remarkably poised 10-year-old daughter Emani Dior. Twelve months later, the late rapper, executive, entrepreneur, activist, hometown hero, and—yes—legend is no longer with us, but he’s still very much a part of the Grammy conversation.
Although Hussle did not win the Best Rap Album Grammy in 2019 for Victory Lap, the next morning he was up early to shoot the “Racks in the Middle” video, because the Marathon don’t stop. Lurking around the edges of that video shoot were members of his All Money In team, a small circle of day-ones and hand-picked talents from the community where he grew up.
All Money In No Money Out was the name of Nipsey’s label before he dropped his first Bullets Ain’t Got No Name mixtape and began developing the Slauson Boyz, a crew that included Nipsey, Cuzzy Capone, Cobby Supreme, Hoodsta Rob, and Rimpau the Rebel, along with J Stone, BH, Wee Dogg, Ralo, and Tiny Drawz.
More than a company, All Money In was a mindset that Nip developed with his brother Blacc Sam, as well as founding partners Adam Andebrhan and the late Stephen “Fatts” Donelson. The concept was all about ownership and the empowerment of young black men with no industry support taking control of their destinies and building an empire straight off the curb. After being released from his deal with Epic Records in 2010, Hussle began The Marathon mixtapes series and his independent movement began in earnest.
With two of Hussle’s post-Victory Lap releases nominated for a total of three Grammy Awards this Sunday, the smart money says Neighborhood Nip should be bringing at least one home for The Shaw, which would be well-deserved, however bittersweet. The second verse of “Racks in the Middle” reflects Nip’s determination to carry on despite the death of his partner Fatts. Now, the All Money In squad draws strength from the lines: “Live your life and grow... Finish what we started, reach them heights, you know?”
The mixed emotions continued this week when the Recording Academy announced an “all-star tribute” to Hussle, which will feature Roddy Ricch, DJ Khaled, John Legend, YG, Meek Mill, and Kirk Franklin. To honor Hussle’s life and work on music’s biggest night is only right, but some have been asking: Where is the All Money In team? And the lineup sparked some backlash on social media. Sure, it seems fitting for Roddy to perform “Racks in the Middle” and for Legend and Khaled to take the crowd “Higher”—after all, these are the songs that earned Nipsey nominations for Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap/Sung Performance, respectively—and it’s well-known that Nipsey’s bond with YG went way deeper than music, and he’d begun working on a collaborative project with Meek. But it feels a little incomplete to see Nipsey’s inner circle left out of the tribute entirely.
“It’s crazy we weren’t even contacted about the Grammys,” says Pacman Da Gunman, an All Money In affiliate who grew up in Nip’s hood and whose single “Never Gonna Change” featuring O.T. Genasis turned out to be Hussle’s final Instagram post, just one day before his tragic death. Pacman, who has dropped two critically acclaimed albums since Hussle’s passing, found out about the big tribute via social media. “This is our brother, and he loved and respected us. I’m pretty sure he would want the team involved. If it wasn’t me, put J Stone. If not J Stone, put BH or Cuzzy or Cobby or Twan. Or have our sis Lauren London go and speak. But at the same time, I’m just happy that they’re doing a tribute for bro. It’s about Hussle at the end the day.”
Of course, maybe it’s not too late to fix the situation. If anybody at the Recording Academy HQ is reading this, see below for a handy list of All Money In rappers you need to contact to make the tribute complete. And regardless of the Grammys tribute situation, it’s worth it for everyone to take a minute and tap in with the rappers who helped Hussle build a movement from the ground up.
These are the artists who were hand-picked by Nipsey himself, and they’re the artists who are actively working on carrying out his musical legacy to this day. After all the years that the industry slept on Nipsey Hussle’s talent, it would be a shame to see the same thing happen to the rappers Hussle personally recruited to run laps alongside him on The Marathon. Get familiar with six of them below (and be sure to check out other affiliates like Hoodsta Rob and Rimpau).