In 2008 Nipsey released two mixtapes, Bullets Ain’t Got No Name, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 before signing with Epic Records. Late in the year his debut single, “Hussle In The House,” was released.
In 2009 he released a third mixtape, Bullets Ain’t Got No Name, Vol. 3, appeared with Drake on the song “Killers,” and appeared on the song “Upside Down” on Snoop Dogg’s album Malice n Wonderland and on the official westcoast remix for Dorrough’s single Ice Cream Paint Job. A first studio album, “South Central State of Mind” was expected in the summer of 2009 but was never released.
In 2010 he appeared on the song We Are the World 25 for Haiti. He was one of XXL Magazine’s Annual Freshman Ten, a selection of ten up and coming artists.