30 for 30 Podcasts, in association with The Undefeated, will debut all four episodes of its captivating new season Monday, August 23. The audio documentary “The King of Crenshaw” focuses on how the late Nipsey Hussle’s life, death and legacy deeply impacted the sports world. This series examines how that overlap of Black male creativity, talent and ambition will forever live on in Nipsey’s responsibility to his neighborhood and how NBA players are vowing to continue his marathon moving forward.
Shortly before a home tip off against the Charlotte Hornets on March 31, 2019, then-Golden State Warriors center Demarcus Cousins sat at his locker in a daze. Less than an hour earlier, Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle was murdered in front of his Marathon clothing store in South Central Los Angeles. Cousins, who earlier that same day was posting Hussle’s music on his Instagram Stories, was stunned. Hussle’s death at 33 reverberated internationally, across sports from MLB and the NFL to the U.S. Women’s national soccer team, but especially in the NBA. Father, MC, entrepreneur, community leader, Rollin 60s Crip: Hussle wore many hats in his brief time on Earth. He was someone athletes looked to for motivation, not only to prepare for games, but because his dedication to living a life of respect and principle resonated with them. His music became life mantras, and his commitment to his community coincided with social justice advocacy becoming an integral part of the sports fabric in America. Many of those athletes are from the same area where Nipsey grew up, and ultimately lost his life. Many people, in particular young Black men, saw themselves in him and his death leaves a tangible void in those who practiced what he preached. In death, his mantra, “The Marathon Continues,” has taken on added significance for many athletes.
The podcast features original in-depth interviews with two time NBA All-Star, Isaiah Thomas; four time NBA All-Star, DeMar DeRozan; four time NBA All-Star, DeMarcus Cousins; Nipsey’s brother, Samiel Asghedom, also known as Blacc Sam; Cobby Supreme; Pacman da Gunman; J-Stone; Culture Critic, Gerrick Kennedy; former Los Angeles hip-hop DJ Devi Brown; Professor of African American studies at Penn State University, Amira Rose Davis; Executive Director of the UCLA Social Justice Research Partnership, Jorja Leap; and Councilman, Los Angeles City Council District 8, Marqueece Harris-Dawson.
The Undefeated’s Senior Culture and Sports Writer, Justin Tinsley, who has written extensively about Nipsey, narrates this tragic, yet inspirational story on the intersection between sports and music. The series production is led by Joanne Griffith and the production team includes Gus Navarro, Dave King, and Derwin Graham. The Undefeated’s Deputy Editor Steve Reiss is the series editor. The project is overseen by 30 for 30 Podcasts’ Senior Editorial Producer Julia Lowrie Henderson, who previously produced the critically acclaimed seasons, “Bikram,” “The Sterling Affairs,” and “March 11 2020.” 30 for 30 Podcasts can be found on SiriusXM, Pandora, Stitcher, the ESPN App and wherever podcasts are available.
Said Tinsley: “Despite the tragically senseless way his life ended, Nipsey Hussle’s 33 years on Earth made so much sense. ‘The King of Crenshaw’ is a thoughtful, enlightening and nuanced voyage into Nipsey’s life and the legacy that will speak volumes for generations to come, in particular generations of Black folks across the world. It was never lost on me that this series was produced and released during a time when America was forced to examine its flaws, insecurities and racial politics like very few times in history. Over the course of a year through reporting and interviews, one thing remained clear to me: whether people loved Nipsey Hussle personally or witnessed the impact he was leaving on his community and the world around him from afar, his life mattered. And it will always matter.”
All four episodes of “The King of Crenshaw” will be available for fans to binge-listen on Monday, August 23. A bonus episode will debut the following week. The episode lineup includes:
Episode 1: To Live and Die in LA (35 minutes)
Nipsey Hussle’s tragic murder on March 31, 2019, in front of his South LA clothing store elicited immediate tributes across industries, walks of life and international boarders. One world in particular where the news resonated on a deeply personal level was in the NBA, where Hussle had long, deep and authentic ties. For the host Justin Tinsley and many young Black men in the league, like DeMar DeRozan, Isaiah Thomas, Demarcus Cousins, Nipsey was far beyond a rapper who wrote the score to their lives. But why was this connection so deep? And in a genre that has always been woven with basketball in one way or another, what was it about Nipsey Hussle that made him far more than a friend, but rather and inspiration and beacon of light they carry with them for the rest of their lives?
VOICES: DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, DeMar DeRozan, Bryan Robinson, Devi Brown, Gerrick Kennedy, Amira Rose Davis, Blacc Sam
Episode 2: Where You From? (35 minutes)
Nipsey Hussle is a Los Angeles icon, but what’s the story behind that? Before the fame, he was Ermias Asghedom, a young kid coming of age in South Crenshaw district. Life in South Central was beautiful, but it wasn’t for the weak at heart either. This episode is a look into the world that raised, bruised and ultimately made him the man he became.
VOICES: Blacc Sam, Cobby Supreme, Pacman da Gunman, J-Stone, DeMar DeRozan, Jorja Leap
Episode 3: Songs in the Key of Life (40 minutes)
There are a ton of descriptions that could properly summarize Nipsey Hussle’s music career. But “overnight” isn’t one of them. A decade-plus-long journey through time that weaves in the highs, lows, joys and pains of Nipsey’s voyage to his debut album ‘Victory Lap.’ And how that marathon ran parallel with the NBA players who were in awe of his every move.
VOICES: Isaiah Thomas, Blacc Sam, J-Stone, Devi Brown, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarcus Cousins
Episode 4: Neighborhood Nip (45 minutes)
Nipsey traveled across the world, but all of his love and loyalty funneled back to the community that raised him. With the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue as his headquarters, this episode is a poignant look into his devout local commitment — and how that played out in the worlds of business, philanthropy and social justice as many young Black men in the NBA began to actively engage in them as well. Also, this episode looks at Nipsey’s prophetic mantra — ‘The Marathon Continues’ — and what that actually looks like moving forward.
VOICES: DeMarcus Cousins, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Blacc Sam, Cobby Supreme, Pacman da Gunman, Amira Rose Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Gerrick Kennedy, Devi Brown, Isaiah Thomas, David Gross
BONUS EPISODE: The Xtra Lap
Nipsey’s life story lives on in his music, but only a handful of people witnessed Hussle in creation mode. Meet the brothers behind the beats and hear some of the secrets of the “slaps.”
VOICES: 1500 or Nothin’, Mike & Keys
*Will be available August 30.
About 30 for 30 Podcasts
30 for 30 Podcasts, from ESPN Films and ESPN Audio, are original audio documentaries from the makers of the acclaimed 30 for 30 film series. Telling sports stories like you’ve never heard before, through a combination of original reporting and archival sound, 30 for 30 Podcasts goes beyond the field to explore how sports, competition, athleticism and adventure affect our lives and our world. The series has been recognized by the NYF International Radio Awards, the Webby Awards, and the RTDNA Kaleidoscope Awards; as well as inclusion on numerous “best-of” lists from press outlets such as The Atlantic, Vulture, TIME and Entertainment Weekly. Episodes have been featured on NPR, 99% Invisible, Slate Podcasts and more. For more visit 30for30podcasts.com