It was a tragic event on March 31, 2019 when it was officially announced that rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed outside of his store, Marathon Clothing, in South Los Angeles. The rapper was only 33 years old, and his career had only recently given him a nomination for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019. The rapper was known for being a community activist, and though he reached great heights in success and fame, he remained loyal to his roots, providing businesses, charitable activities, and the home of family and friends. He even went further to shoot many of his magazine photos in his city.
His success did not come without hard work and endurance. Born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, the rapper was born to an African-American mother and Eritrean father in 1985. Raised in the Crenshaw neighborhood in Los Angeles, he experienced gang activity and violence at a young age. Using rap as an escape from that life, Nipsey Hussle began to become a prominent figure in the rap scene of the west coast. He began releasing many mixtapes in the mid-2000s, including Bullets Ain’t Got No Name, The Marathon, The Marathon Continues, and Crenshaw. His credibility flourished when it was announced rapped Jay-Z had bought 100 copies of Crenshaw for $100 each.
The rapper had an abundant personal life as well which makes it so difficult to see him pass. Nipsey Hussle had been dating actress Lauren London since 2013. She had appeared in a variety of films and television shows including ATL Entourage and 90210. Lauren was also known for dating Lil Wayne for a period and has a child from that relationship. Nipsey and Lauren also had a child together in 2016. When he died Nipsey Hussle was father to two children including Ermani from a previous marriage.
Nispsey Hussle was possibly most famed for giving back to the community that raised him. He is considered an activist and entrepreneur. He had partnered with Puma to renovate a local elementary school playground and basketball court. He was involved in Destination Crenshaw, which was an open air public art project in the neighborhood. It begins construction this spring. A shared working space was also opened by the rapped, called Vector90. It was created to connect young people in poor communities with opportunities in Silicone Valley. Several businesses were also owned by Nipsey Hussle in South Los Angeles. The rapper also regularly met with the police chief and police commissioner of Los Angeles to discuss ways to end gang violence in the city. He talked to his community about how they should idolize Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, instead of rappers and celebrities.
His legacy will live on through his business ventures, his stores, and the things he taught his community. The rapper showed the world how important it is to remain true to your roots, and not glamorize gang violence, but to put a stop to it. Nipsey Hussle has influenced the world to show them to do better, and become a collective group of people. It was a tragedy he was lost at such a young age. But his names will remain in the pages of history for a long, long time.