Rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle dead at 33

Grammy nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle on the red carpet.
Photo by Gregg DeGuire/ Getty Images.

Los Angeles-based rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle, who had been nominated for a Grammy Award, was shot and killed Sunday outside of his clothing store in Los Angeles.

Hussle was pronounced dead at the hospital. He was 33.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the shooting was gang-related and the suspect is a black male. No arrest had been made as of Monday afternoon.

Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, tweeted, “Our hearts are with the loved ones of Nipsey Hussle and everyone touched by this awful tragedy. L.A. is hurt deeply each time a young life is lost to senseless gun violence. My Crisis Response Team is assisting the families coping with shock and grief.”

Hussle was born Ermias Asghedom in 1985. He was raised in Crenshaw on the city’s south side. Hussle always admitted to joining a gang in his early teenage years as most teens would. However, Hussle knew he would be great. He used his influence to uplift his community. Hussle was an independent rapper who opened his own record label.

He sold his mixtape “Crenshaw” for $100 a piece. Mixtapes are generally free, but Hussle made $100,000 in one day. Hussle always preached “know your worth” and he preached that to the kids he mentored as well.

He not only started his own record label, but he opened a “smart” clothing store, a music store, a barber shop and a Creole store. All of these stores are family oriented and the people who work in these stores are locals.

Hussle also began investing in STEM programs for his community. His ideology was simple; Cut out the middleman, stop gentrification, and support black people at all cost.

Hussle was investing his well earned money from his rap career into more real estate investments. He was not ever concerned about the big chains and the fancy cars.

“I want to invest in some assets as opposed to trick off my money on some liabilities like diamonds, or cars that lose value as soon as you drive off the lot ….. I feel like that (material things) are insecurities. Material things ain't nothin, at the end of the day it's who you is,” Hussle told 4Rap media.

“Nipsey has been a staple in my community for over a decade. No one ever shows animosity toward him because he was very much so an inspiration and major influencer in the place he called home,” Donje Hill, a freshman at FAMU from Las Angeles, said.

Hill, a business administration major, believes that the government could not allow the type of progression that Hussle was accomplishing and will do whatever it takes to stop the advancement of black people.  Hill is not the only person with this sentiment. As many continue to grieve the loss of Hussle, more and more people are connecting his death to the government, calling it “another hit on the talented tenth.”

This year Hussle planned to release a documentary about DR.Sebi’s trial and how he had the cure for AIDS and won the trial. Hussle believed that it was no coincidence that Sebi was murdered and believes that this is something that needs to be talked about. In an interview with the syndicated “Breakfast Club,”  Hussle foresaw his own death. He told the radio show that people were warning him about the people who would get him for talking about the type of stuff that brings down “big pharma.”

“If they kill me y’all better ride for me,” Hussle told the show’s hosts.

Although the media is pushing the agenda that Hussle’s death was gang related, locals from the community as well as social media are all saying otherwise.

Hussle’s last tweet stated “Having strong enemies is a blessing.” Nick Cannon stated on Instagram that it is a marathon and now he is picking up the baton. “They can’t kill us all,” Cannon said in an Instagram post. Cannon promises to release Hussle’s movie on Dr. Sebi regardless of the threats that may come behind it.

Hussle leaves behind his wife Lauren London, and two children.