Long before Nipsey Hussle ever released his first major label album, Victory Lap, or became something of a household name by being nominated for a Grammy for that same album, one of his earliest, staunchest supporters was none other than fellow rap businessman Jay-Z. Now, in the wake of Nipsey’s death, Jay-Z is still finding ways to support his friend and protege. Tidal, the streaming platform owned by Jay-Z, paid tribute to the late Nipsey by adding all of his albums to its new music page, allowing both longtime fans and curious newcomers to easily find and sample the music that defined him and paved the way for a generation of hungry, business-focused rappers and proved that music could still be a money-making commodity before the advent of streaming.
The streaming service was notably Nipsey’s favorite, as he once posted a breakdown of royalties received from the Jay-Z own platform. One of the initial draws of the service was that its payouts to artists were considered much more favorable and fair than those offered by rival services provided by Apple and Spotify. Nipsey, an advocate of ownership and business savvy among rappers — he famously released his Crenshaw mixtape as a limited run for $100 a CD and remained independent until the right deal came along — loved Tidal for treating artists as partners rather than interchangeable parts. Now Tidal is showing that love right back, ensuring that his estates coffers see some income in this trying time for his family.
Nipsey was killed Sunday when a man — the LAPD suspects 29-year-old Eric Holder — walked up to him and two other men in front of his Marathon store on Slauson Avenue, opening fire. Nipsey died at the hospital. Well-wishers stormed the site both the day of and last night (April 1), causing a stampede that left multiple people injured.