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  • Levitt Lin

Nipsey Hussle: Rapper and Philanthropist Murdered in Los Angeles

The Grammy-nominated rapper and philanthropist died on Sunday, March 31st after a shooting in Los Angeles near one of his clothing stores, Nipsey died due to gunshot wounds, the LA County coroner. The suspect in the shooting was arrested two days later on Tuesday, April 2nd.

His death sent shockwaves across the residents of Crenshaw, the neighborhood where he was raised and by many prominent members of the music industry as well. Artists such as Drake, Rihanna and J Cole had paid tribute to Nipsey over social media shortly after the shooting.

Nipsey Hussle, real name Ermias Davidson Asghedom was well respected not just for his musical talent, but his ambitions as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. In 2018 he started the first Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles near Crenshaw, which comprised only one of the many businesses he ran at the time.

Nipsey had a rough upbringing in downtown LA where he had to grow up in gang territory. As soon as he was old enough he became a member of the notorious Crips gang. This rough upbringing proved influential not only to his music which focused on gang life and community upliftment, but his business acumen as well which fostered his drive to economically empower his community. Forbes covered his ascent in real estate only a few months before the tragedy, which covered the purchase of the strip mall which would house his Marathon Clothing store. The location was not a coincidence as it was one of his attempts to reinvest in his old neighborhood.

CNN reports that Nipsey would also regularly reinvest in Crenshaw by “buying shoes for students, fixing playgrounds and basketball courts, helping to renovate an old roller rink, providing jobs and shelter for homeless residents, paying for funerals of those who couldn't afford them and investing in Destination Crenshaw, an art-and-culture project that celebrates Los Angeles' black history.”

Nipsey was a forward thinking man who had dreams of uplifting his old community. He was taken from us far too soon, but he made the best of his time and served as an inspiration to many in life and hopefully his efforts will continue to inspire others in death. We’d love to hear your thoughts about this tragic loss - join in on the convo via our upcoming YL live show or podcast releasing this saturday!

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