When Nipsey Hussle passed, the world lost a legend — but Cobby Supreme lost his best friend. The South Central-native not only recorded music with the late rapper but together they started All Money In. The brand would go on to become more than just music and clothing, building an entire movement that motivates and inspires fans around the world.
Both Nip and Cobby were born into the Rollin 60’s Crips, which meant learning how to survive at an early age. Nicknamed “Money Man,” Cobby was always hustling. Through shooting dice and selling weed, he purchased his first car at the young age of 13. At the time, the two friends drove around with no license and “the police wouldn’t even take it from us,” Cobby said.
A 17-year-old Cobby met a 14-year-old Nipsey at the gas station, proceeding to buy Nip’s CD for five dollars. Already, Cobby saw something in Nip — the same go-getter mentality and drive he saw in himself. “That’s my brother,” said Cobby.
As they grew older and developed their crafts, Cobby was featured on songs like “Checc Me Out” and “H-Town” on Crenshaw. Cobby was Nipsey’s secret weapon, and even though he did music on his own, he was always a team player.
After Nipsey tragically passed away, it took Cobby nine months to even return to the booth, and the first song he recorded was a tribute to Nip called “Thinc About You.” Cobby says the most heart-wrenching moment of the whole ordeal was seeing his own 10-year-old son weep at Nipsey’s viewing — “that broke me,” he said. “I haven’t been doing interviews, I’ve been avoiding them,” he said.
After our hour-long conversation, in which he revealed for the first time that he’s opening a weed-friendly restaurant next to the AMB shop on Crenshaw, he played me new music from his forthcoming Street Legend album, which Nipsey named.
Cobby wouldn’t let me leave until he played me new music, with a level of confidence you couldn’t help but respect. Blaring through the speakers was a side of him audiences had never heard before, a more polished Cobby Supreme but with the same authenticity he’s possessed since day one.
SHIRLEY JU: What part of Los Angeles are you from?
COBBY SUPREME: I’m from South Central Los Angeles, in the 60’s. I’ve seen everything you can think of. I’ve seen good things and a lot of bad things. I’ve seen gangbanging, of course, there are a lot of gangs in Los Angeles. Walking to elementary school, I saw it. Crackheads, drug dealers, broke n*ggas, rich n*ggas, the same things that are going on now. I was into music, from Ice Cube to all the guys in New York. Nas, Jay-Z, that was all influential. I was different from the other kids I grew up with. I liked a different type of music.
When did music start to take off for you?
I dibbled and dabbled in music at a young age. When I was 12 or 13, my sister had a boyfriend that moved into my house. He was a musician, so he brought drums, guitars, old computers in the house. I’d sneak in the room and break his guitar strings just fucking with him because I was interested in music. His name was James, he called himself Manswire. He caught me but that was my first time really recording a song. This was way back in 1995, I was young as shit. He saw I was interested in music, always fucking with his equipment. Shit, he put me on wax in 1995, I made one of my fist songs with him. Later on, I went through shit in life. In 2007, I end up picking back up on music when I started fucking with Nip.
You say a lot of people didn’t make it out of your neighborhood. You had to be different to make it out. What was it about your own mentality that helped you?
Shit, I grew up watching n*ggas get money. My uncles and aunties all had money and jewelry, I grew up in that era in the early ‘90s. Of course, I wanted to be like them and have money so I did certain things to get money. Wore nice clothes, put on jewelry and shit. That pushed me even more to keep hustling and keep grinding, to stay on like that.
Bring us back to when you met a 14-year-old Nipsey at the gas station handing out CDs.
I was 17 and I was hustling, had my little chains on and driving cars. Matter of fact, I’d just come back from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was up, I had some money. I pulled into the gas station to get gas and saw this kid, it was Nip. He came up to me trying to sell me a CD. I gave him $5, bought the CD. I liked his mannerisms, he reminded me of myself.
How did your friendship with Nip evolve over the years?
Man, it was tight. We never parted. We got together and kept rocking. I knew I could trust him, he knew he could trust me. He trusted me with his daughter, with his family. Likewise, I did the same thing. That’s my kid’s unc. His kids, I’m their uncle. We were just tight. That’s my brother.
How did All Money In originate?
We started that shit together. Me, Nip, it was us. We first started out with Slauson Boyz. Anybody who knows us, knows that. We started as a group, it was the homies. Me, Cuzzy, H60sta Rob, Wee-Dogg, Nip, Rimpau, BH, all of us. Nip was always pursuing music. That was his thing. Even when he got deep in the hood, he was still reverting back to that place that made him calm — just like I was. That’s why we locked in because we both had the same dreams, the same type of inspirations.
“Checc Me Out” is so timeless. Can you bring us back to that studio session?
“Checc Me Out” was done at 1500 Or Nothin’s studios. The beat was made by Mike & Keys from the Futuristiks, Larrance Dopson, MyGuyMars, and Brody Brown. I was at 1500 working on my second album, I finished with my shit and then Nip had a session. Him and Dom (Kennedy) ended up coming. I left the studio to go make a play, went and picked up some money. I doubled back to the studio and when I got there, I heard the beat. I walked in like “cuz, who’s shit is this? That’s hard cuz, I gotta get on that.” Nip said “go ahead.” Nip is tall, like 6’4”, so the mic is way the fuck up here. Everybody was tripping because I grabbed a little crate, put it in front of the mic, stood on the crate and spit that verse in one take, and it ended up being what it was. Dom believed in that song from the gate. Nip and I thought it was just another song, we didn’t think it was going to catch radio or that wave it caught.
“Hussle & Motivate” is one of my favorite visuals.
We went back to looking at Puff and all their videos. Their videos weren’t regular like videos are now. Puff was shooting movies. Nip’s one to go back and retrace history, see who did it the right way. That video with Puffy and Nas for “Hate Me Now” was one of the videos that Nip liked. It was different, so that’s why Nip started shooting his videos like that. Nip didn’t want the videos to look regular. He got the guys together and came up with that bomb idea, because J. Stone had just come home, too. We gave the lawyer money to get J Stone out of jail because we were on a mission, so it was almost a true story.
You’re opening an AMB shop on Crenshaw Blvd?
I know a lot of people look at All Money Business like it’s new but it’s something we started at the same time as All Money In. It’s been around that long. You know, me, Nip and BH got this shit tatted on our face when we first hopped off the plane. The All Money Business brand is basically the same as All Money In, but All Money In consists of me, Nip, BH, Cuzzy, Pac, J. Stone. The AMB brand was a spinoff of that, just like Cash Money and Young Money. With AMB, me and Nip were going to grab the inner city kids who were doing music, put them out and teach them how to be bosses. We started the store trying to buy back the neighborhood.
You recently dropped a Nipsey tribute, “Thinc About You.” How difficult was that to record?
I ran from that. I ran from that the whole time, the whole nine months since he’s been gone. I was in a slump, wasn’t fuckin’ with no music. My producer Cleviesonthebeat came here making his music. I sat here with him one time and he turned on that beat. I don’t write no music, I just say what I feel in the microphone and that’s what came out. I didn’t plan it.
You say you think of Nipsey every day and every night. How are you coping?
Shit, like everybody else who lost somebody. It’s hard but if you’re alive, you have to keep living. I know that’s what he’d want us to do: keep living. Keep making the dream happen. Share the information. Make the kids around me rich, make my friends rich, make the family rich, and just share this wealth.
What business moves are you working on now?
As of right now, the Crenshaw AMB Store is a spinoff from The Marathon Store. The clothing store opened, it’s doing well. Right now, I’m on a venture doing a restaurant, which is right next door to the clothing shop on Crenshaw. It’ll be called Boulevard Bob’s. It’s the first time I’m putting this on wax, we’re going to have the best food, make it a landmark in LA for everybody. Boulevard Bob’s.
What’s going to be special about the food at Boulevard Bob’s?
Boulevard Bob’s is going to be different. It’s going to be a weed-friendly restaurant. We’ll have breakfast all throughout the day, we’ll be open until three in the morning. If you eat healthy, we’ll have that for you. Bring your own meds, you can smoke in the back. We’ll have a movie screen back there where you can watch all the old classic movies, it’s going to come with headphones. We’ll be playing music in the back, too. We’ll be done with this in probably two or three months.
Why did Nip want you to name your next album Street Legend?
He said “n*gga that’s what you are.” That’s what he said. That’s what he saw in me. He saw me riding cars at a young age, having jewelry on. Later, him and Rimpau told me “yo, we weren’t looking up to none of the homies like that. We were looking up to you, we were watching you.” That shit spoke volumes to me because however they saw me, I must’ve done something right that elevated them. That’s another reason why I was right there with Nip and he was right there with me. I was his big brother from the hood, a few years older than him. A mentor from the hood to tell him “yeah bro, that’s like that.” I miss him, everyone does. He dropped seeds and the flowers are growing. I’m his right hand so I still get to water the flowers.