The Los Angeles Times reports that Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot outside of his store, Marathon Clothing in Crenshaw, at around 3:20pm yesterday. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police have no suspects and are still investigating the incident. He was only 33.
Nipsey (government name: Ermias Asghedom) started out in the rap game by stapling his ads for his music to telephone poles, and he’d sell incense and CDs out of the trunk of his car. When he made it, he reinvested a lot of the money he earned into the community he came from. He owned several businesses in the area he was shot, like a burger restaurant, a barbershop and a fish market. He also gave jobs to people who lived in the area who were struggling; he even hired homeless people. Nipsey also once gave shoes to literally every student at 59th Street Elementary School. And he donated money to renovate the school’s playground and basketball courts. And he also donated money to a family for funeral arrangements for someone who had died from gun violence. And he opened Vector 90, a space in the Crenshaw district meant to call attention to the lack of diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
But Nipsey wasn’t only known for doing good things… He was also known for his homophobic comments. Nipsey made a homophobic remark in a caption on an Instagram photo in 2018 and was called out by activist Deray Mckesson. Nipsey responded by saying he doesn’t look down on gay people but there was an “agenda”.
Glenn Taylor, a Hyde Park resident said that Nipsey “did so much for our neighborhood” when he and others gathered at the area of his shooting to pay respects. A community activist, Malik Spellman, also said:
“The man was instrumental in a lot of stuff. Fighting gentrification, trying to stop gang violence… The facts are he was a good person.”
L.A. City Councilman, Marqueece Harris-Dawson also gave a statement on the murder:
“Hussle had a vision of a neighborhood built for and by the sons and daughters of South L.A. During his life, he moved from shadows into the bright hope of freedom and community revitalization.”
Nipsey was open about his past with gang violence, admitting that as a teenager he was a member of the Rollin’ 60s–a Crips gang, he told The Times last year:
“We dealt with death, with murder… It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it. I guess they call it post-traumatic stress, when you have people that have been at war for such a long time. I think L.A. suffers from that because it’s not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while.”
Celebrities reacted on Twitter to his death:
Watching Nipsey inspired me to invest and own in our communities. He was a solid man who loved his woman, his family and his community. This hurts.
— Issa Rae (@IssaRae) April 1, 2019
RIP Nipsey man. This is tragic
— Chance Owbum ? (@chancetherapper) April 1, 2019
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 31, 2019
God please cover and restore @NipseyHussle right now!!! ????
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) March 31, 2019
Nipsey you a legend. I respect and admire your career path and what you did for the neighborhood. My heart broke today when I saw the news. I’m praying for your loved ones. This was sposed to be the year we got one in. God had bigger plans for you ??
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) April 1, 2019
Broke me…. we really fighting for our lives against our own kind and really have to take risk and match the level of hatred that we are born in .. I’m tired ?? prayers for my brother and his family
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) April 1, 2019
This doesn’t make any sense! My spirit is shaken by this! Dear God may His spirit Rest In Peace and May You grant divine comfort to all his loved ones! ???
I’m so sorry this happened to you @nipseyhussle pic.twitter.com/rKZ2agxm2a
— Rihanna (@rihanna) April 1, 2019
LAPD say they are still interviewing witnesses and trying to recover any security video which may exist from the area of the shooting. County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, released a statement asking for there not to be retaliatory violence:
“Violent retaliation for this event will not be tolerated… Our communities have lost too many young men and bright futures to the scourge of gun violence. For healing to occur, even from this terrible incident, justice must be sought through legal means, and community peace must be found.”
I used to watch the show Southland on TNT so I know how dangerous South LA can be. And also that Regina King deserved recognition eons ago. But Regina King’s time came and hopefully so will South L.A.’s. Until then, I would avoid the corner of Slauson and Crenshaw unless you’re there to meet Ellen Pompeo for a fist-fight.