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

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Notes From Black Reads

The first biography of rap star, activist, entrepreneur and artist, Nipsey Hussle, who was murdered in South L.A. in 2019. Hussle, known for his mixtapes, eventually caught the eye of Jay-Z, record producers and others who found his talent hard to ignore. Accolades and awards followed along with riches, which Hussle plowed back into his neighborhood. He opened the Marathon Clothing store and held many outreach programs to teach and enrich the lives of the community.


This “beautiful tribute to a legendary artist” (Quincy Jones) is the first in-depth biography of Nipsey Hussle, the hip-hop mogul, artist, and activist whose transformative legacy inspired a generation with his motivational lyrics and visionary business savvy—before he was tragically shot down in the very neighborhood he was dedicated to building up.

For Nipsey Hussle, “The Marathon” was more than a mixtape title or the name of a clothing store; it was a way of life, a metaphor for the relentless pursuit of excellence and the willpower required to overcome adversity day after day. Hussle was determined to win the race to success on his own terms, and he wanted to see his whole community in the winner’s circle with him.

A moving and powerful exploration of an extraordinary artist, The Marathon Don’t Stop places Hussle in historical context and unpacks his complex legacy. Combining on-the-ground reporting and candid interviews, “Rob Kenner has given us the book the world—and hip-hop and pop culture—has been waiting that should be celebrated alongside the best biographies ever about iconic figures we have loved—and lost” (Kevin Powell, author of When We Free the World).

ISBN-13: 9781982140298

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: 03-23-2021

Pages: 448

Product Dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.50(d)

Rob Kenner is one of the most prolific and influential voices in hip hop publishing. A founding editor of Vibe, Kenner joined the start-up team of Quincy Jones’s groundbreaking hip hop monthly in 1992. During a nineteen-year run at Vibe he edited and wrote cover and feature stories on iconic cultural figures ranging from Tupac Shakur to Barack Obama as well as writing the acclaimed column Boomshots. Kenner’s writing has appeared in Complex, Genius, Mass Appeal, Pigeons & Planes, Ego Trip, Poetry magazine, The New York Times, and Billboard. He’s also produced and directed documentary shorts on the likes of De La Soul, Nas, and Post Malone. As an editor at Vibe Books, Kenner worked on the New York Times bestseller Tupac Shakur and contributed to The Vibe History of Hip Hop. He went on to co-author VX: 10 Years of Vibe Photography and produced the book Unbelievable, a biography of The Notorious B.I.G. by Cheo Hodari Coker, which was optioned for the motion picture Notorious.

Table of Contents

Intro: Top of the Top 1

1 True Story 19

2 Slauson Boy 37

3 On Hood 75

4 Eritrea 121

5 Hussle in the House 131

6 All Money In 161

7 Marathon Mode 183

8 Proud 2 Pay 207

9 FDT 223

10 Victory Lap 249

11 Exit Strategy 301

12 Too Big to Fail 321

13 Higher and Higher 349

Acknowledgments 379

Bibliography 382

Notes 395

Index 429

Reading Group Guide 437

Nipsey Hussle's Elements of Success 443