On the 31st of March, Nipsey Hussle stepped into Marathon Clothing for one last time. Shot 3 times and pronounced dead 35 minutes later, Hussle was only 33 when he died.
Grammy nominated rapper, activist and entrepreneur Ermias Asghedom, aka Nipsey Hussle, left behind a legacy. From funding campus playgrounds, giving jobs to neighbors, and giving shoes to every kid at elementary school, Hussle was the real hero of L.A.
In 2017, Nipsey opened a co working space and STEM center to address the lack of diversity in technology and to facilitate partnerships with corporations in the Silicon Valley – really, what has this man not done? In his album, the one and only, Victory Lap, Nipsey recounted his journey and his transformation into the man L.A. grew to love and depend on. The soft piano and unflinching lyrics were punctuated with bravery, despair and vision – an album that was testimony to what Nipsey Hussle stood for. Even stars like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and even Rihanna were amongst his loyal fans, loving the blunt, detailed and sparse rap Nipsey produced.
Even Forbes took notice of his hustle and wrote an analytical piece detailing what entrepreneurs can learn from the life of Hussle— invest in ecosystems, own yourself, and aim to build a legacy. Having lived by these himself, not only did this rapper become the king in his fans’ hearts, but he also ran a burger joint, a fish shop, a barber shop, a cryptocurrency business, and a learning center to give at-risk youths a shot at a good life. Through Nipsey, we see the importance of investing in and giving back to our own community.
His death wasn’t just a loss for rap. Real stories told with a quivering voice really did sear the soul, but what Nipsey Hussle did for his people is what makes him the real deal. His parents remember him as a gift from God and his partner and children are amongst those who feel his loss the most.
An inspiration for times to come, magnetic on the mic and altruistic behind the stage curtains, who is forever known to the world as Nipsey Hussle.