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Nipsey Hussle has kept a relatively love profile since being arrested right before appearing on the Made In America 2014 stage.

That’s because the hardest rap grinder is on a mission to prove that he doesn’t need a major label overhead to keep is stock in the green. Or should we say blue?

Neighborhood Nip is currently the latest cover star for Bleu magazine and within the pages, he didn’t hold back on recounting how his hardened upbringing is akin to winning the lottery.

“I come from an area where we are cannibals. We destroy ourselves and don’t allow ‘Nipsey Hussles’ to happen,” he tells Treye Green. “My strength has always been talking to the streets and motivating people… telling real life stories about coming from nothing and making myself successful. You’re not going to just be this prodigy that made it from [a] crazy situation and conquers the rap game in one stroke. As poetic and dope as that would be, that’s not what’s going to happen. You’ve got to build this thing.”

The independent grind had been good to the Los Angeles rapper but last year, he solidified his name in the streets by releasing his mixtape Crenshaw for $100 a pop. The move got the attention of every rap publication across the board and even Jay Z, who bought 1,000 copies with his own coin because even he couldn’t knock the hustle.

Nipsey tells Bleu how the move was calculated within his camp saying, “We were looking at the game and saw how the value was changing. So I decided that I wasn’t going to chase radio. I was going to cater to the audience and do what I knew was best. I’ve gambled on my career a couple of times, leaving Epic and leaving a major deal. It was a time when they called me crazy, but it was also when I looked like a genius.”

The Nipsey Hussle Bleu magazine cover is current available on newsstands all across the map. Peep the photos from the shoot in the gallery below.

Photos: Elton Anderson/Bleu

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