In the last installment of the story about the role Trinidadian Dexter Browne played in the life of slain rapper Nipsey Hussle, guest contributor Rubadiri Victor looks at how Browne influenced the rapper and the time he spent with him.
During the period with Dexter Browne, Nipsey Hustle appeared on the following: The BV Boys Mix Tape (Sampler) with all the boys who were part of Butter Vision Nipsey, Cuzzy, Ralo, Steve Biz, J General, Evede, Phats Bossalini, Gooch, and K C. and Beats & Babes Vol 1 a DVD that was authored and jewel-cased (the first piece of official bar-coded home-created content from the streets).
It was a clash between two unlikely worlds, one of in-studio gang-boy beat-making and the other, a world of models, glamour, and celebrity.
Then came Shades of Butter Vol 1 a compilation culture-stream of models and landscape with songs and revolutionary talks by the boys. Before this the boys sold pirated DVDs on the streets. Now they sold stuff they themselves owned and created.
Then came a CD called F*** the Middleman which was a transition project. Butter Vision artists would do all kinds of mixtape projects in between.
One was called Crenshaw District which blew up big because of a track that Nipsey and Cuzzy did riding one of Jay-zs beats. Their crew blew all others away and the hood took notice.
The cover of the BV Boys Mix Tape Sampler
They had started Cuzzy Capones project Journey of a Thousand Miles but after a soul-searching session, the group decided to place all their energies into Nipseys solo debut mixtape. That was how the now legendary Slauson Boy Vol 1 was created. Recorded right there in Brownes annex with numerous collaborators.
The CD blew up and had the hood popping. People were playing it everywhere. Browne is on Track seven. When the CD was later republished, Brownes track was not there.
Nipsey would compile stuff he was working on and sell anthologies. One such was Fast Lane Youngsters which has his music and a video concert performance. Browne did the photography.
Browne said he taught Nipsey how to author his own DVDs and this was Nipseys first solo project. Browne still has all of this material.
They were all working on Slauson Boy Vol 2 when the keyboard mysteriously disappeared. Browne kept working with Nipsey and refers to their relationship this way: It was as if Tupac and Gordon Parks co-existed and plotted to overthrow the system together.
My wish for Nipsey was that he would remain outside of the gang and be their muse and poet, their scribe and defender to the world. But it was not to be. One day he came with the SlausonBoy tattoo and confessed to me that he got put on. It was a dark day for me. There are things you have to do to join... I am a non-judgmental observer in terms of the gang but there are things I cant condone. By then I had given him what I could. He was an adult. He had to make his decisions and stand the consequences.
Butter Visions mantra was "Undisturbed Culture". Because of this, Browne amassed a substantial archive on Nipsey and his crew.
Therere all kinds of interviews and stuff, but the things I love are these: Nipsey taught me a lot about basketball and I reciprocated with football/soccer. One day after getting trashed by him in basketball I challenged him to soccer and ran rings around him and his boys in the backyard, its on tape, he recalled.
I remember explaining the phenomenon of thin-slicing from the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. He would have me thin slice all the books I already read for him. I had to give him the gist of the book in one sentence. He was an avid reader but he wanted them thin slices. I thin sliced Blink itself, Digital Guerrilla Video, The Tipping Point and The Prophet for him. Theres video of the first time he was my photography assistant. He preferred to do shoots when I shot red skin models or actresses.," he said with a laugh.
Browne shot Nipseys first mixtape cover and inside artwork for SlausonBoy Volume 1 down on the BG Block.
I also shot the second version at Phatefx studios, he said. I went with Nipsey to buy his first set of rims for his Alpine. He was proud, he had the rims to go with the chain. We have the stills. The first time I saw him making music on the keyboard it was profound. I have it on tape. The first time he tasted a good Trini curry chicken. He loved curry and pelau! The first time he wandered into the sound booth with his writing pad, all is on tape. He said he was 'just feeling the ambiance'. Then theres the time I arranged for him and the other under-age BV Boys to get into the GRAND club (downtown LA) to see Cuzzy Capone perform with J211. All on tape.
Browne shot photos of manycelebs including Vanessa Williams
Browne said it was he who took Nipsey to Interscope Records to meet Kevin Black with a demo they prepared at Butter Vision after Nipsey insisted that he was signable and wanted to prove it despite their f*** the middleman slogan.
The guys at Interscope essentially said he needed to soften up the lyrics, hit the gym, put on some lean mass because he may be a heartthrob. They even suggested the use of a choreographer for him to pick up dance moves. He was not thrilled to say the least, but it made him understand the need to f*** the middlemen who did not understand our vision. Nipsey speaks about it on tape, he said.
Brownes archive does not only contain Nipsey and crew.
When Browne got to LA in 99 it was ground zero of the previous Golden Age of African-American Culture the rise of Hip Hop, young black Hollywood, the raw black comedians, and the transformation of R&B.
Browne shot portfolios, the design looks, and created images for a host of up-and-comers who would soon be international celebrities such as Gabrielle Union, Lisa Raye, John Singleton, Tyrese, Kat Williams, Flava Flav, Bone Thugs & Harmony, Tone Loc, Barack Obama, and Trinidadian Olympian Ato Boldon.
He has all these images as well as raw video and interviews of them on sets, discos, events, and more.
- Capitol riot suspect arrested after giant tattoo revealed on video - The Independent - June 9th, 2021
- The Sacred Male Body Modification Practices That Still Exist Today - InsideHook - May 16th, 2021
- `We were never terrorists`: Proud Boys Canada officially dissolved` - WION - May 4th, 2021
- Farmer Boys celebrating 40th anniversary with free burger tattoo - KTNV Las Vegas - April 19th, 2021
- Here are the nine men from Hudson Valley charged with participating in Jan. 6 Capitol riot - Times Herald-Record - April 19th, 2021
- Crowdfunding Hate in the Name of Christ - The Nation - April 4th, 2021
- Guest Opinion | Reflections on the course Women Unknown: Fight for Independence - UI The Daily Iowan - April 4th, 2021
- We want to keep him alive Family, friends remember San Antonios Tito Bradshaw two years later - San Antonio Express-News - April 4th, 2021
- Quick on the draw: Castagna the chaotic Tiger with a tattoo gun - The Age - April 4th, 2021
- Love Island Australias Phoebe Thompson reveals WAP lip tattoo as she celebrates birthday - The Irish Sun - March 8th, 2021
- Brave, Powerful, Complicated: The Most Formidable Heroines In Film - British Vogue - March 8th, 2021
- Jaden Hill is LSU's ace pitcher who has a bigger calling in life: 'I'm chosen to help people' - The Advocate - February 19th, 2021
- Gangland: a book about meth and the people whose lives it touches - The Spinoff - February 17th, 2021
- SA tattoo artist to the stars on taking his skill abroad - News24 - February 14th, 2021
- Memories of dad help make University of Houston's Justin Gorham a rebounding machine - Houston Chronicle - February 11th, 2021
- Tauranga's strongest head to the Highlands - The Bay's News First - SunLive - February 6th, 2021
- Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys Got His Paris Hilton Tattoo Just 3 Week Before They Broke up - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - January 30th, 2021
- 2 Green Country Women Share Stories Through Tattoo Ink; Competing In National Contest - News On 6 - January 30th, 2021
- Gangs? Cliques? Subgroups? Call Them What You Will There've Been 18 (Yes, 18) In The LA Sheriff's Department - LAist - January 22nd, 2021
- Trump's useful thugs: how the Republican party offered a home to the Proud Boys - The Guardian - January 22nd, 2021
- Proud Boys among groups being watched as inauguration approaches. Do they have Northeast Ohio ties? - Akron Beacon Journal - January 20th, 2021
- Who are Proud Boys? The Western chauvinist far-right group explained and what Donald Trump has previously said about them - The Scotsman - January 15th, 2021
- Theyve been hidden too long: Report details Los Angeles Sheriffs deputy gangs and violence toward communities of color - East Bay Times - January 15th, 2021
- Hawaii Proud Boy Charged By DOJ After Raiding US Capitol - Honolulu Civil Beat - January 9th, 2021
- Swimming With My Shirt Off - The New York Times - January 9th, 2021
- How the Internet Reflected on and Coped With the Capitol Attack - Hyperallergic - January 9th, 2021
- The Weekly-ish Mailbag is mailing it in this week. - Off Tackle Empire - December 31st, 2020
- Four months before her wedding, Mary knew it was over - Sydney Morning Herald - December 19th, 2020
- Family, determination and a dream: The Real Woods story - The Stanford Daily - December 16th, 2020
- Skating solo gives me time to study everyone else on the rink - The Globe and Mail - December 16th, 2020
- LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS: Price is Right Live show rescheduled - Goshen News - December 16th, 2020
- Controversial Mom Made One Of Her Twin Toddlers Get A Tattoo For Very Important Reason - BabyGaga - December 11th, 2020
- Mum of twins tattoos one so she can tell them apart leaving mother-in-law fuming - Daily Star - December 11th, 2020
- Farmingtons mayor of 12 years memorializes his experience in tattoo - TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press - December 8th, 2020
- Im A Celebrity superfan gets tattoo of Ant and Dec at Gwrych Castle inked onto his thigh - The Sun - December 1st, 2020
- MacAdam: Fascination with Mike Tyson began in Albany - The Daily Gazette - November 27th, 2020
- 'Home town boys' return to Philippi Main Street - The Inter-Mountain - November 20th, 2020
- The Post-Election Proud Boys Meltdown Is Here, and It's Ugly - The Daily Beast - November 12th, 2020
- I just want to be with my friends: how will children cope with being cooped up again in second lockdown? - The Guardian - November 9th, 2020
- 240+ Inspirational & Meaningful One Word Tattoos (2020 ... - November 6th, 2020
- 75+ Best Small Tattoos For Men (2020) - Simple Cool ... - November 6th, 2020
- Tickets for sale in Snohomish County and around the region - The Daily Herald - November 5th, 2020
- Seances, tattoos and the unbreakable bond between Mikaela Mayer and Al Mitchell - ESPN - October 30th, 2020
- Students rediscover their childhood fandoms on TikTok - Daily Northwestern - October 29th, 2020
- Chase Winovich talks playing time, conspiracy theories with Zolak & Bertrand - 98.5 The Sports Hub - October 22nd, 2020
- The Cycle of Punitive Justice Starts in Schools. Eric Butler Is Showing Kids and Teachers How to Break It. - Mother Jones - October 21st, 2020
- The Proud Boys? - SOFREP - October 16th, 2020
- Theatre Alliance to perform outdoor production of Devil Boys from Beyond - Yes! Weekly - October 16th, 2020
- Freshers' Flu - Why My Mum Invented COVID - Cherwell Online - October 10th, 2020
- Who Are the Proud Boys Trump Told To 'Stand Back and Stand By'? - Snopes.com - October 8th, 2020
- Dan Osbornes tattoo shows hes protective of Jacqueline Jossa & the meaning behind Brooklyn Beckhams spoo - The Sun - October 7th, 2020
- When the Proud Boys came to town - The Economist - October 7th, 2020
- The ten essential facts you need to know about BTS's Suga - Film Daily - October 6th, 2020
- 30 Best Neck Tattoos for Boys and Girls - The Best Tattoo ... - September 30th, 2020
- Best 100+ Tattoo Designs For Men and Boys - Youme And Trends - September 30th, 2020
- Who are the Proud Boys, the extremist group Trump named in the debate - Insider - INSIDER - September 30th, 2020
- Fred Perry Will Denounce Proud Boys, But The President Won't - Highsnobiety - September 30th, 2020
- Hooligans With Heart: Phoenix Risings Red Fury fan club reaches out to refugees - Cronkite News - September 30th, 2020
- Whats New on Netflix UK & Top 10s: September 30th, 2020 - What's on Netflix - September 30th, 2020
- From the Fields: Soaking it up now | agrinews-pubs.com - Agri News - September 30th, 2020
- Who are the Proud Boys and why did Trump tell them to stand by? - The Irish Sun - September 30th, 2020
- The Giant Proud Boy Rally That Wasn't - VICE - September 28th, 2020
- Dallas Cowboys news: Defense is looking for improvements - Blogging The Boys - September 26th, 2020
- For Australia's military veterans, tattoos are an important reminder of the things they've seen - The Canberra Times - September 26th, 2020
- What is the alt-right group the Proud Boys? - The Sun - September 21st, 2020
- Police investigating after man tried to grab young boy from street - The Northern Echo - September 18th, 2020
- Cowboys news: Reviewing the rookies after the Cowboys season-opener - Blogging The Boys - September 18th, 2020
- Nas makes his latest claim to the throne with King's Disease - NYSMusic - September 18th, 2020
- The Boys Season 2 Episode 4: 20 Easter Eggs And Things You Might Have Missed - GameSpot - September 15th, 2020
- The Boys Season 2 Episode 4: 20 Things You Might Have Missed - GameSpot - September 11th, 2020
- Remembrance of Things Past: A favorite series features a book with a local tie - theday.com - September 11th, 2020
- RCB spinner Adam Zampa speaks of his love for whisky, need to carry microwave on tours - Times Now - September 8th, 2020
- Youth of color disproportionately represented in the justice system - Prescott eNews - September 7th, 2020
- Two "Boogaloo Boys" Allegedly Tried To Supply Weapons To Hamas And Join As Mercenaries - BuzzFeed News - September 6th, 2020
- Sophie Kasaei shows off full sleeve and chest piece in 'tattoo' snap - Heat - September 3rd, 2020
- Failed by the System - Eugene Weekly - September 3rd, 2020
- 'They're going to have to shoot me': A cop's son meets a tragic fate in Morris Township - Morristown Green - September 3rd, 2020
- Youth of color disproportionately represented in the justice system - Cronkite News - September 3rd, 2020
- 2 Boys Arrested In Suspected Attempted Carjacking, Armed Robbery - Patch.com - September 2nd, 2020
- Ask Billboard: Katy Perry's Career Bests, From 'One of the Boys' to 'Smile,' & Every Hot 100 'Idol' Top 10 - Billboard - August 29th, 2020