Just as the title implies, the inspiration for this track is centered in Nipsey Hussle’s worldwide success as an artist and entrepreneur in spite of his ‘colored’ background. In other words, he takes his “victory lap”, as racers often do in the sport of ‘car racing’, with the winner taking an extra lap around the track as a celebration of his success. The song finds him making his “victory lap” at striking Mexican locations to point towards his success and hussle.
In an exclusive breakdown of his album with NPR Music, Nipsey told the story behind ‘Victory Lap’ to NPR:
“If you check the stats — the murder rates and incarceration rates in the years I was a teenager in L.A. — in my section of the Crenshaw District in the Rollin’ 60s, none of my peers survived. None of my peers avoided prison. None of ‘em. Everybody got bullet wounds and felonies and strikes. So to make it out mentally stable and not in prison and not on drugs, that’s a win. That’s a victory in itself. Then to be in the position I find myself in as an artist and entrepreneur who has respect around the world; that’s legendary. And I say it in the most humble way. That’s what I was talking about in that line. When I reflect on it, it’s unbelievable. It’s gotta be evidence of a divine presence, because it wasn’t that I’m just the smartest dude or just wiggled my way through. It had to be a calling on my life and I started to see that.”NPR Music
Although most of Nipsey’s songs were reflective of his own experiences, Victory Lap stands apart as being loaded with lessons from the rapper’s own life. It would not be wrong to assert that Victory Lap was a breakdown of everything Nipsey had been through. Some of the lessons about life and entrepreneurship that Nipsey Hussle taught us through some of the tracks in this album are:
“I’m prolific, so gifted I’m the type that’s gon’ go get it, no kiddin”
Starting off the album with self-affirmation, Nipsey, who was a self-starter teaches us the importance of starting off the day by reaffirming your own abilities. The life of an entrepreneur is not an easy. The world we live in will constantly make us doubt our selves and so we must learn to help ourselves with positive reminders.
“To make it happen, you got to have it
Dedication, hard work plus patience
The sum of all my sacrifice, I’m done waitin’
I’m done waitin’, told you that I wasn’t playin’
Now you hear what I been sayin’
Our natural abilities can aid us on our path, but they will never take us all the way! All of us come to a point where hard work and commitment is the only way to have a chance at success. In other words, you have to be prepared and willing to go through the grind!
“Watching and they wishin’ that it wasn’t yours (let’s go)
I forgive you, I remember I was poor (not no more)
Plus I ain’t in the way of what you reachin’ for (yeah)
You gotta play the game, you gotta read the score (read the score)”
The vital importance of having an ‘abundance mentality’; believing that there is plenty out there for everybody. Unfortunately, most of us have been conditioned to believe there is not enough. According to famous businessman and author Stephen Covey, people with a ‘scarcity mentality’ have a hard time sharing recognition and credit and being happy for others. This will include members of their own family, and even close friends.
Jealousy and envy are emotions that serve no one, and they only stand in the way of us having fulfilling relationships. But as Nipsey said, “no one is in the way of what you are reaching for.” Oftentimes, it is only our way of thinking that is holding us back!
Many a times, in the financial world a scarcity mindset causes many of us to become greedy. Seeing opportunity as limited, we begin to pit ourselves against our peers, calling them ‘competitors’. We try to grab anything and everything coming our way even if it calls for a lack of integrity.
“All my life, been grindin’ all my life (Yup)
Sacrificed, hustled, paid the price (Whoa)
Want a slice, got to roll the dice” –
“Grinding All My Life“
You cannot chose to eat the cake and have it too. You must be prepared to take risks, make bold decisions and pay their price too, if need be. But don’t shy away from the hussle!
And to end the day with a final thought, remember to frequently ask yourselves the vital question:
“Would you rather be at war with yourself and at peace with the world, or at peace with yourself and at war with the world.”Nipsey Hussle