April 04, 2019 

By Kristina Dixon 

Contributing Writer 


A true man of the people, Ermias Asghedom, famously known as rapper, entrepreneur and philanthropist Nipsey Hussle, 33, was shot and killed at his South Los Angeles smart store, The Marathon Clothing, in the heart of Hyde Park on Sunday, March 31. Hussle was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, two others were wounded in the gunfire.


Hussle, an Eritrean-American, was a South Los Angeles native who grew up in the Hyde Park area. He had close and meaningful relationships with community leaders and was well loved by neighbors. He was very active and generous in the community. You could find him eating at the local health restaurant Simply Wholesome, donating to the homeless and at his clothing store signing shirts and taking photos with fans.


He was a community partner in the upcoming Destination Crenshaw art installation, he also inspired the name of the project. Hussle was a partner at the Crenshaw community workspace, Vector 90. He often gave back to LAUSD students, providing shoes and renovating the basketball courts and playground at 59th Street Elementary School. And a March Against Gun Violence at Crenshaw High School in 2014 with Los Angeles City Councilmember, Marqueece Harris-Dawson (District 8).




More than a rapper, many believed he was a business man first. He is remembered by neighbors for selling his mixtapes out of the trunk of his car on Crenshaw Boulevard. Hussle utilized his love for technology to release his music as an independent artist, streaming his music for sale through the internet. His first mixtape “Slauson Boy” sold for $5, compared to his “Crenshaw” mixtape which sold for $100. Jay-Z was one of his $100 customers, which sparked a nationwide growth in popularity. He accomplished his goal of selling 1,000 physical copies for $100 each. (He sold out in less than 24 hours.) He received his first Grammy nomination earlier this year for Best Rap Album for his first studio album “Victory Lap.”



At The Marathon Clothing store, you could find his brother Sam, and close friends working behind the counter and folding the famous ‘Crenshaw’ shirts. Nipsey bought the Fatburger restaurant, a barbershop and a seafood market in the shopping plaza and surrounding plazas.

Sources say he had plans to knock it down and "rebuild it as a six-story residential building atop a commercial plaza where a revamped Marathon store will be the anchor tenant.’’ His goal was to provide employment and resources for local residents.


As a leader in West Coast hip-hop, Nipsey left behind a catalogue of mixtapes with lyrics of hope, encouragement and motivation. He inspired a generation of independent artists. He told stories of struggle, survival, self-love, success, hardships and fear of God. He was one of us, he rode the “108 to the blue line.”




Through his music, he was able to bridge gaps between neighboring Crips and Bloods in South Los Angeles. Despite having past ties to gang culture, Hussle rose against diversity and worked with many east coast and local rappers. He was well respected and featured with the likes of YG, Dave East and Snoop Dogg to name a few.



In 2016, Hussle and rapper YG released the protest song "FDT,'' short for "[Expletive] Donald Trump,'' criticizing the U.S. President's policies when he was the Republican presidential candidate.


This week, he was scheduled to have a meeting with Los Angeles Police Department for reducing gang violence in the community at the Roc Nation office. Hussle was also in the works of creating a documentary on the late Dr. Sebi and his health practices.



NBA star Steph Curry tweeted, "God please cover and restore Nipsey Hussle right now!!!’’ "Watching Nipsey inspired me to invest and own in our communities,''



Emmy-nominated actress Issa Rae, also from Los Angeles, wrote on Twitter. Snoop Dogg posted a video of himself and Hussle together on Instagram, and posted a second clip sending prayers to the rapper's family. Hussle’s last tweet was “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”




He leaves behind two children, Kross Asghedom and Emani Asghedom, his fiancé, actress Lauren London and a legacy of fans inspired by the concepts of ownership, generational wealth and entrepreneurship.





His murder is under investigation and funeral services have yet to be announced.




Category: Community