The legacy of the late Nipsey Hussle

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The legacy of the late Nipsey Hussle

Dylan Whybra, Asst. Editor

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On Mar. 31, 2019 rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in the parking lot of his store in South Los Angeles. Five bullets to the torso and one bullet to the head. There’s a lot being said about the murder itself but the LAPD have appre-hended their prime suspect and have him in custody. It still doesn’t take away the fact that a man was murdered, but who was this man?
Nipsey Hussle was know most com-monly as a rapper from Los Angeles, more specifically his neighborhood of Cren-shaw. Crenshaw is a neighborhood plagued by crime and poverty. For some-one to make their way out of the neighbor-hood is impressive, let alone succeed to the level Nipsey did.
Nipsey began releasing music in 2005, his music started a local buzz which would grow over the course of his career but the support his community had for him was immense. Nipsey would sign to Cinematic Music Group and Epic Records. This would be the only brief period of Nipsey’s career that he was signed to a record label. Nipsey would release 13 mixtapes in a 12 year period. Many are unavailable on streaming services but one sticks out in particular.
Crenshaw was released in 2013. Nipsey did something unheard of and de-cided to sell 1,000 hard copies of the mix-tape, for $100 a piece. Jay Z would buy 100 copies personally and the other 900 sold out in less than 24 hours. This really shows the support and influence that Nipsey had in the community.
Nipsey released his debut album Vic-tory Lap in 2018. The album was met with critical acclaim and would be nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. Although he didn’t win, it really showed the quality of music as Nipsey has never been the biggest name in Hip-Hop, yet the album found itself nomi-nated after being released very early in 2018 back in February. Many consider Victory Lap to be Nipsey’s best body of work and it showed as it had the highest streaming numbers of all of his music fol-lowing his death.
Nipsey’s music career had just started to really take off at more of a star level, but his role in his community is something that set him apart from others. While he was no Drake, he could have easily moved into a better area and enjoyed this near-ly new life that his money gave him, yet he opted to stay in the community.. Nipsey led by example, he owned his Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles and was invested in multiple other businesses including a barber-shop and fish market. Nipsey created this smart clothing store in Crenshaw with ‘tech genius’ Iddris Sandu which caught the eyes of many. The store-front had been an abandoned building in Crenshaw and Nipsey chose it pur-posely to be a positive example in the community. He had also bought the plaza that his store was on and planned to build a six-story residential building in it.
Nipsey started Vector90 with the Los Angeles City Council, Francis Akhalbey called it “a CoWorking Space, Cultural Hub and Incubator in South Central LA providing support and mentorship for start-ups, workshops, among other services.” He also had vari-ous less larger contributions like paying for a local basketball court to be fixed up and repainted in a colorful and more artis-tic way.
Zach Curry described Nipsey’s life perfectly with the phrase “The rose that grew from concrete.” He made the best out of a poor situation and served as a positive influence in his community. The fact that he was killed in his own community while doing something to benefit it is sad, but very telling of the neighborhood. The fact that someone would kill Nipsey while he made constant efforts to improve the com-munity shows how bad the community is and how desperate they are in need of help.
Nipsey’s memorial was held at the Staples Center on Apr. 11 in Los Angeles with tickets given away for free. His finan-cial savviness will benefit his family long after his death. Because he owned his mas-ters his family will receive all of the mon-ey made off of his music following his death and combined with his other finan-cial resources his family won’t need any help getting by.
Over the past few years a dispropor-tionate number of rappers have passed away. With so many of them it is not a given that their legacies will remembered as the years pass. Nipsey will be remem-bered for his music, his commitment to the community, the impact he made and the message he tried to spread. Rest in peace, Nipsey Hussle.

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