A joke about Nipsey Hussle from an old episode of Family Guy has resurfaced online and fans are calling the show out for its perceived disrespect.
In the episode “Young Parent Trap,” which originally aired in April 2021, the Griffin family teens Chris and Meg invite their parents Lois and Peter to a music festival (both duos are in disguise; it’s a whole thing). The festival is parody of disastrous real-life festivals like Woodstock 99 and Fyre Festival, but its name (“Quachella”) and the mentioned acts are references to Coachella.
Chris tells his parents that the festival is going to have “holograms of Tupac and also Nipsey Hussle, who I’d never heard of and then was told to care immensely about.” The joke is a play on the Tupac hologram from Dr. Dre’s headlining set at Coachella in 2012, but also makes reference to Nipsey Hussle’s longstanding underground legend status.
While it’s true that Hussle was not very visible on the Billboard charts before his “debut” album Victory Lap dropped in 2018, he was very much a fixture of the hip-hop culture, recognized and respected by peers like Jay-Z and Rick Ross for the decade prior. He pioneered a DIY model for independent rappers with his innovative $100 mixtape, Crenshaw, and was well-known in Los Angeles for his philanthropy and community involvement.
Online, some folks felt that this joke denigrated this legacy. To be fair, when Nipsey was shot and killed in March 2019, many observers and pundits on news shows seemed baffled that his funeral warranted a capacity crowd (including Barack Obama) at Staples Center or a miles-long procession down Crenshaw, the boulevard he constantly shouted out in his songs.
But those people were, by and large, outsiders to the culture, exactly the sort of people who would be equally miffed to be in the presence of a Black person at all (think Fox News-y types). And as much as Family Guy loves to pepper in references to pop culture, its creators and writer’s room have been criticized at times for being a little… unseasoned.
“White people show making fun of a really tragic event like that feels kinda wrong,” one fan succinctly noted. Another pointed out that, while it may have been accurate, the joke could have “stayed in the drafts.” Others chimed in with a variety of opinions, which you can check out below.