The Marathon Don’t Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle

Atria. Mar. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9781982140298. $27. MUSIC
A founding editor of Vibe magazine, hip-hop journalist Kenner has written the first biography of the complicated, innovative rapper Nipsey Hussle (1985–2019). Much like Hussle’s work, Kenner’s narrative is raw and unfiltered, the language of the streets of South L.A. unedited. Those who knew Hussle intimately share stories of his life and contributions to the music industry and dedication to giving back to his community. Born into poverty, Hussle was a straight-A student who built his own computer from scratch but became a member of a local gang and the target of harassment by local police. Determined to create a productive life, Hussle became an independent mix tape rapper whose autobiographical music focused on political awareness and activism. His murder in front of his Los Angeles storefront in March 2019 left a significant hole in the music world.
VERDICT Kenner provides a behind-the-scenes look at the rap business and a musical genius. Rousing and powerful, this work will be devoured by Hussle’s fans and appreciated by students of Black culture and the music industry.
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