This is not an April Fool’s hoax, and neither is today’s vinyl version of cats meowing over Keep It Together. RIP to Nipsey Hussle, the first rapper to ever jam out on top of Rocketship from the album Goldfly (1997). Hussle was shot and killed yesterday in Los Angeles. His last tweet before his death read:
While foreboding, what feels even more ominous is the passage he included from a Steve Jobs speech while rapping over Rocketship in 2011.
“…death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new … Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
Listen to “Who Detached Us” by Nipsey Hussle (featuring Steve Jobs) for yourself:
The Steve Jobs quote kicks in at 3:16, which is maybe a coincidence but also maybe not a coincidence as it’s the most famous Biblical passage concerning the afterlife:
It is tempting to dismiss the presence of Rocketship in this mix as a mere coincidence. Just a guitar line a producer fed Nipsey to spark an idea? Or was Hussle perhaps an early Guster fan, inspired by content that spoke to his dark side and added to his portentous musical concoction of death themes. A warning sign for us? Rocketship is easily the most death-obsessed song in the Guster catalogue.
“… I am not to be martyred. I am not to be worshipped… Will gather in my name. The mourning will begin…”
Alas, while we received no royalties from Mr Hussle, we took The Game’s label to the cleaners for putting out his single “Pot of Gold (featuring Chris Brown)” while rapping atop Rocketship’s guitars and percussion that same year (2011). Being associated with a wife beating human piece of garbage like Chris Brown was not something we wanted, but we donated the money to a Boston area women’s shelter that helps domestic abuse victims. Here, check out Pot of Gold:
Rest in peace, Nipsey. Whether you knew Goldfly or not, by all accounts you were a community activist and a true artist. Death is the destination we all share.