Victory Lap is the debut studio album by American rapper Nipsey Hussle.  It’s the only studio album to be released during his lifetime. It was released on February 16, 2018 through All Money In No Money Out and Atlantic Records. It was Nipsey Hussle’s first major commercial release after releasing a string of mixtapes for thirteen years[citation needed] as well as the only full-length album released during his lifetime. The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, selling 53,000 album-equivalent units;  it reached a new peak of number two in April 2019, following Hussle’s death. It received a nomination for Best Rap Album at the 61st Grammy Awards.

Victory Lap received widespread critical acclaim upon release. Ian McQuaid of The Guardian commented that Nipsey Hussle “effortlessly claims his place as crown prince of G-funk’s new school”, adding that “his brags rasp as hoarse and righteous as a man in the middle of a three-day bender, riding beats built from oozing bass swagger and slinking Compton synths, as brash and gleeful as peak-era NWA. It’s visceral west coast rap at its unapologetic finest, as Hussle refreshes cliches of unstoppable prowess with the conviction of a true believer.” However he also judged that “At least half the album feels like padding.”

Sheldon Pearce of Pitchfork labelled Victory Lap as “the most gripping record in his catalog”, also adding: “The hour-long album honors all the work he’s put in and looks back at all he’s achieved, but it also looks forward to all he has yet to build and all those he can still inspire. His tactics can be tone-deaf and without nuance, but he knows exactly who he’s speaking to and for.”

Trent Clark of HipHopDX concluded: “Minor potholes aside, Victory Lap not only boosts Nipsey’s stock but it raises expectations for the next time he eyes a checkered flag. The benchmark for quality has been set and the race to officially hit the championship podium is only getting revved up.”Online publication HotNewHipHop stated that Victory Lap “toes the line between classic and contemporary hip-hop. It captures the emotion of now, this victorious moment for Hussle, while still pushing for the permanence of a hip-hop classic. It’s hard to tell whether Victory Lap offers a transient infectious feeling or life-long addiction, but this album should age well. The production is masterful, the features are well-placed, and Nipsey raps like he just won a marathon. The race for the victory paid off.”

Victory Lap debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 chart, earning 53,000 album-equivalent units, with 30,000 in traditional album sales in its first week of release. This is Hussle’s first top 10 album on the chart. The album also debuted at number three on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Following Hussle’s death on March 31, 2019, the album reached a new peak of number two on the US Billboard 200, earning 66,000 album-equivalent units (with 17,000 in traditional album sales) in April 2019, behind Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. Three album tracks, “Double Up”, “Last Time That I Checc’d” and “Dedication” also debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 for the week dated April 13, 2019. On January 8, 2020, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over a million units in the United States.

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