The marathon continued at the 62nd annual Grammys Awards ceremony where the night was marked with a special tribute in honor of hip-hop’s late Slauson-bred angel Nipsey Hussle, who was posthumously nominated for three prizes.
Two of his final contributions, “Racks in the Middle” and “Higher,” were up for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Sung/Sung Performance. In one of the night’s tender moments, Nipsey posthumously received Best Rap Performance for “Racks in the Middle” and Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Higher.”
The nod came as a bittersweet memento for those who knew Nipsey most intimately and witnessed his preeminent, self-made rise as a talented lyricist, philanthropist, activist and entrepreneur invested in moving the culture forward. As a homage to the fallen hometown hero’s legacy, the Recording Academy enlisted some of his closest collaborators and friends, including Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, YG, Kirk Franklin, John Legend and Roddy Ricch, to pay tribute to the late rapper.
During the performance, Meek and Roddy premiered a new song written in honor of their departed brother-in-rhyme, “Letter to Nipsey.” Hours later, the full track hit streaming platforms. The two-minute song encapsulates the hurt and loss that Meek and Roddy felt after Nipsey’s death. Meek starts the track off with a recountal of Nipsey’s funeral before the Philly MC then delves into how he’s coping.
“And I ain't finna sit here, act like I'm your main homie / But when we lost you, it really put some pain on me,” Meek raps. “Got me scared to go outside without that flame on me / And when them niggas went against me, you ain't change on me.” Roddy follows-up in the chorus where he asks, “How many tears did you cry when you lost someone?”
The rising Compton rap star continues taking over the second half as he remembers the brotherly bond he shared with Nipsey and the ensuing cold days that followed in the wake of his death. Following the song’s release, Meek shared on Twitter that all proceeds generated from “Letter to Nipsey” will go towards his family.
Listen to the song in full below.
(Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)