This past Sunday at around 3:25 P.M. Ermias Asghedom, AKA Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in South Los Angeles. If you are over the age of 40 you may not be familiar with who that is. However, if you are a member of Generation Y or Z then you likely feel the absence of Nipsey Hussle regardless of whether or not you listened to his music because his death is still the top topic of social media.
Let’s point out the elephant in the room. Rappers die all the time. Rappers are killed all the time. Nipsey Hussle is not the first nor will he be the last. So why is the mourning over him different? Simple: Nipsey Hussle was not just a rapper.
Now Nipsey Hussle was a rapper, and a very good one. His lyrical ability earned him respect among his peers and with fans. Losing a talented artist would be a huge loss by itself. But in the loss of Nipsey Hussle the community is also losing a father, a philanthropist, an entrepreneur, and a community activist. You see Nipsey was one of the rare people from the hood who really did make it big… and rarer still decided to give it back.
You can’t really accurately boil someone’s life down to bullet points but in order to illustrate the positive work he was doing, here is a list of Nipsey Hussle’s attempts to give back to his community:
- Invested some of his wealth back into community via his business on Slauson Ave.
- Opened a South Los Angeles stem center and co-working space called Vector90.
- Encouraged healthy eating and holistic health.
- A former gang member, Nipsey Hussle devoted his life to stopping gang violence.
Ironically Nipsey Hussle was set to meet and brainstorm ways to curb gang violence with the LA Police Chief Michel Moore the day after he was killed.
Nipsey Hussle’s death has been the subject of conspiracy theories. Some fans are claiming that Nipsey was killed because of his work to expose the pharmaceutical industry via a documentary about the controversial Dr. Sebi. Becoming the subject of government conspiracy theories after your death in some ways is the highest form of flattery from the black community. People don’t usually claim the government killed you unless you were important and revolutionary. Nipsey Hussle was both.
Conspiracy theories aside, Nipsey was not killed because he was making a video about Dr. Sebi. As controversial is Sebi was, there is a wealth of easily searchable information available on him as he has been the subject of many court cases and treated celebrities for years before his death. As hard as it is to accept, Nipsey Hussle was taken by the thing that takes most young black men, inner city violence.
Police do have a suspect, and he’s in custody, but even when they catch who did this, that won’t bring Nipsey back. The best thing we can do to honor Nipsey is carry out his legacy stopping the violence and community uplift.