A lot of speculation has been flying around about a cryptic Instagram post that Damian Lillard made quoting Nipsey Hussle’s song “Dedication”. Many have interpreted it as Dame giving up on the team and questioning his own loyalty, something he prides himself on. The bars Dame quoted are as follows:
>”How long should I stay dedicated?
>How long 'til opportunity meet preparation?”
That does sound pretty damning, but I want to look at the song as a whole to determine the context those lines are in and what message the song tries to send. Let’s take a look at some of the other lines from both Nipsey and the song’s featured artist, Kendrick Lamar.
>“He frustrated so he get faded
>But deep down inside he know you can't fade him”
This is the line immediately preceding Dame’s quote. He is stronger than other people’s criticism and his own doubts.
>”I spent my whole life tryna make it, tryna chase it
>The cycle of a black man divided, tryna break it
>You take a loss? Shit, don't cry about it, just embrace it
>Minor setback for major comeback, that's my favorite”
Kendrick speaking on staying locked in even when you’re taking Ls.
>”Listen close, my n***a
>It's bigger than deuces and fours, my n***a
>Since elementary we close, my n***a, yeah, straight like that
>I give you the game, go back to the turf and give it right back”
Kendrick again saying life isn’t all about money or accolades, it’s about building partnerships and communities, something Dame has spoken on plenty himself.
>”Dedication, hard work plus patience
>The sum of all my sacrifice, I'm done waitin'
>I'm done waitin', told you that I wasn't playin'
>Now you hear what I been sayin'
>It's dedication, look”
The hook, culminating all of what’s been said in Nipsey and Kendrick’s verses. Dedication will one day pay off.
In short, he stay.
Here’s a link to the song if anyone would like to check it out.
And as a bonus
>Cause ain’t no point in playin’ defense, n***a
Dame is clearly a fan of Nipsey’s suggestions lmao.