by Renee Batson
Ermias Joseph Asghedom, most commonly known as Nipsey Hussle, was born August 15, 1985 in the South Los Angeles neighbourhood of Crenshaw. In the mid-2000s Nipsey stepped onto the West Coast hip hop scene and became recognized in the music industry for his numerous mixtapes, including his Bullets Ain’t Got No Name series, The Marathon, The Marathon Continues, and Crenshaw.
Unlike most rappers, Nipsey came up with an idea to sell his album Crenshaw for $100 a copy. A lot of people questioned if he could sell his mixtape for what he was asking, but Nipsey proved that a man who believes in himself is capable of achieving anything, thus selling out the mixtape in minutes.
For years Nipsey spoke at a higher state of consciousness by encouraging black people to invest their money in order for that same money to grow. As young as he was he was able to turn every business venture into gold and managed to get the rights to his own masters of his musical catalogue. Not many rappers have achieved the status that Nipsey had. And to think he is just another talent assassinated in the community he loved, taken from this world before we could really see what he could do.
What makes a person legendary is the difference that they make in the lives of those around them. Nipsey Hussle was not just a hip hop artist he was more than that. When I think of what occurred Sunday March 31, 2019 on Slauson & Crenshaw, it had me in complete disbelief and I asked myself “Why Nipsy? Why now?”, a young man in the prime of his life who took an idea and made it a reality. I once heard someone say,”We are not here forever, tomorrow is never promised”.
The impact Nipsey had on his community and the things he put in place remind me of the very things Tupac spoke about while he was alive. To see those ideas carried out is remarkable. Nipsey was a man well beyond his years in intellect and drive, a man who had a passion to see growth within his community, a man who created opportunities for our people to thrive and build on being self sufficient, a man who had the capability of creating the next “Black Black Wall Street”, and man who was bringing other communities and sets together, to unify as one. This is a man that was on his way to creating something more powerful than any of us have ever seen in our lifetime.
Victory Lap was his final album with a body of work that tells a story, a story that is the blueprint of what his life was, what it has become, and what ours could be if we follow the moves on the chess board that he has already put in place. Now it’s time that those who love him continue to carry out his mission! From every fan who has watched him grow and evolve we feel a sense of loss. But for every loss a new life is born. May his legacy live on through each one of us. Our condolences to his close friends and family. He now has a spot with the great kings that have passed before him, and has earned his crown in the kingdom. RIP NIPSEY HUSSLE!!