Sunday, March 31st, one of my favorite rappers, community leaders, and philanthropists was tragically murdered. Ermias ‘Nipsey Hussle’ Asghedom, was more than just a rapper. He was an amazing father, partner, brother, son, friend and role model to so many. He touched so many lives with his message. He was all about building up his LA hood, Crenshaw and Slauson.
I first start listening to Nipsey in college. He was a close friend to rappers YG and Dom Kennedy. It was no secret Nipsey was a gang affiliated Crip but his lyrics were always different from the rest. Nipsey spoke about hustling, motivating, building and investing in our black communities. Nipsey’s message reminder me so much of Tupac and the black panther party.
“Still I rise and I took the stairs” – Nip
This man has so many profound interviews and so many gems in his songs. His one liners literally helped me get through college. I totaled my car my sophmore year and had to take public transportation to get to campus for the last 3 years. I had to get on 3 buses just to travel from my house to Sac State. I wasn’t working full-time so I couldn’t afford to get a place near campus or buy a new car. I lived with my mom all through college, which wasn’t that bad but commuting back and forth was hell. Not to mention, I took at least 4 classes every semester, worked part time, and was apart of multiple organizations on campus. I was easily at school for 12 hours a day sometimes longer. I HATED getting on the bus but listening to Nipsey’s songs about riding buses and making it out the hood was the motivation I needed. One of his songs ‘Don’t Take Days Off’ was literally my anthem all through college. I even got to see him perform the same year I graduated in 2015. He was the epitome of changing and motivating others.
He wasn’t perfect but he was a real genuine person and he was so smart. Watching his old interviews and documentaries bring me to tears every time. In one interview, he describes how he went out and bought all the equipment to make his first mixtape. He taught himself how to produce and engineer; he made his first mixtape from home and marketed it around his neighborhood all by himself. The real definition of SELF MADE, He sold his mixtape for $100 a copy and made a $100,000 profit. Jay Z bought 100 copies of his first mixtape. Imagine being a young new artist selling CDs out of your trunk for $100 each and Jay Z buys 100 of them! Every since the beginning Nip has been something special.
I’ve cried so much over the past few days. I’ve cried like I knew him personally. In a way I felt like I grew up with Nipsey. I’ve watched his evolution. I’ve seen his rise to the top. He’s open businesses in his neighborhood, has bigger visions he had for his community, provided resources for the people coming after him, and it just doesn’t feel fair that he’s gone so soon. I was SO proud of him when he was nominated for his first grammy earlier this year, when GQ did a full spread on him and Lauren, and when he took his grandma on a private jet. I was so happy to see him at the RocNation brunch and working with Diddy. He’s been making boss moves for a while now and it was refreshing to see him bask in his well-deserved success.
It was bittersweet for me seeing him take his grandma on the jet because I had just lost my grandma. I remember thinking ‘wow that has to be a wonderful feeling to show your grandma the fruits of your labor’. He was blessed to still have her around to share that moment with her. The though of burying him saddens me.
The fact that the hood he worked so hard to change murdered him, in front of his business is just heart breaking. It angers me to know you can do everything for your community and still get burned in the process. His kids lost a father. He just took his daughter to the Grammy’s with him. What is his family supposed to do without him now? I can’t even begin to imagine the pain they are feeling. If his fans who’ve never even met him are hurting, I know his close friends and family are lost.
I’m not going to question God. Nipsey spoke about energy and spreading positive energy so it will be returned to you so I wrote this blog only to honor him. I will not go into government conspiracy theories regarding him making the Dr. Sebi documentary. I definitely will not discuss the coward who took him life nor about the details of his murder. Re-posting video surveillance videos of him being killed and his family crying it just insensitive. I have all the respect in the world for Nipsey and no matter how or why it happened he’s no longer here. I will only discuss his work, his message, his endeavors and the love he spread.
I dread writing this because I still don’t want to believe this happened. This is a terrible way to start the week and to start the month. I’m still dealing with my grandma being gone now this. I’ve barely slept and I’ve had to recite “Don’t Take Days Off” to myself in order to drag myself to work. But I know that Nipsey wants us to keep working hard, keep making a difference, keep building, keep investing, keep spreading his message and keep our faith. God makes no mistakes.
You had one hell of a Victory Lap Nip and I promise you the marathon continues. #TMC
Thanks for reading & we’ll talk more next week!