With his everyman sensibilities and brutal honesty, Nipsey Hussle embodies the spirit of West Coast hip hop of the past while he attempts to carry it into the future. Since the release of Slauson Boy, Vol. 1, the lanky L.A. rapper has developed a cult following. Equally serious about business as he is music, he’s opposed record labels since leaving Epic Records in 2010, and he made his most recent project, Crenshaw, available in two forms: fans could either download it for free or pay $100 for one of 1,000 hard copies. (If you’re wondering who would drop a Benjamin for something they could get for free, know that Jay Z purchased 100.) Tonight, he’ll bring that maverick attitude to the Howard Theatre, where newcomers stand to find out why legends and underground rap heads alike are paying attention. Nipsey Hussle performs with Erk tha Jerk at 11 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $17.50–$20.50. (202) 803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com.