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Meaning of ‘Down as a Great’ by ‘Nipsey Hussle’ feat. Kirko Bangz

Released: 2017

“Down as a Great” by Nipsey Hussle featuring Kirko Bangz is a track that dives deep into the aspirations and the grind of striving toward greatness and leaving a lasting legacy. Nipsey paints a picture of the hard work, dedication, and the spiritual journey he embarks on, hoping to be remembered as one of the greats. This track is all about the hustle, overcoming obstacles, and the vision of achieving legendary status.

The song kicks off with a powerful desire to be remembered as a legend, setting the tone for a narrative about relentless ambition and personal challenges. When Nipsey mentions, “Heavy is the head that wear the crown, that shit true,” he’s referencing the immense pressures that come with being a leader and aiming for greatness. The mention of “smokin’ on this indo,” and “Rosemary on my temples,” points towards coping mechanisms for stress, indicating that the path to greatness is often riddled with pain and sacrifices. Nipsey’s solo drives in his “Benzo” symbolize moments of solitude and reflection, essential for planning the next moves and strategizing to “reinvest my side change.”

The chorus’s repetitive prayer for greatness underscores the song’s theme of ambition and the constant pursuit of legacy. Nipsey’s verses also touch on community and loyalty, “So many niggas doin’ time, who are you and I?” represents the shared struggles within his community and the realization of being blessed with the opportunity to change his circumstances. He talks about uplifting those around him, “Keep some bitches on the team from the other side / Keep at least a pound of green, mothafuckin’ right,” showcasing the importance of keeping loyal and trustworthy people around, as well as enjoying the fruits of his labor.

The latter part of the song delves into the reality of life’s unpredictable nature, illustrated by the contrast between dining on “lobster tails at Ocean Prime” and the rapid decline to having “chain to a smoker and throat on the line.” Nipsey emphasizes resilience, “It ain’t a force in this world like the focused drive,” urging the need to remain driven and focused on personal growth and achievement. The closing verses and outro reiterate the desire to achieve a legacy that is celebrated both within his lifetime and beyond, highlighting the universal yearning to make a mark on the world that is remembered as legendary.

In “Down as a Great,” Nipsey Hussle not only outlines his personal journey towards greatness but also crafts a motivational anthem for anyone striving to leave their mark on the world. Through his vivid storytelling and poignant insights, Nipsey underscores the highs and lows of the hustle, the importance of community, and the unyielding drive towards achieving a legendary status.

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