By Michael Foster-Sanders/campus editor
The hip-hop community and the city of Los Angeles took a blow straight to the gut March 31 when one of its stars, Ermias Joseph Asghedom, better known as Nipsey Hussle, was gunned down.
Being alive when people who influenced the culture such as Eazy-E, 2pac, The Notorious B.I.G. and Pimp C, died, and their deaths were tragic. But Nipsey’s just felt different.
Why did this happen?
He wasn’t a braggadocious person or a mean-spirited one. He was a man of the people, which is why he went to his Marathon clothing store without security to get some clothes for a friend who was just released from prison.
Stories vary on what happened but it was said that Nipsey had a verbal dispute with a former associate, Eric Holder, being at his shop, and Nipsey wanted Holder to leave because he was an informant for law enforcement. Allegedly, Holder was upset at this, went to his car and waited for Nipsey to come outside and shot him and two other people.
What made Nipsey special is that he was the true definition of a rose that grew out of a concrete jungle. A former gangbanger turned rapper who elevated himself into a businessman and preached about empowering oneself and their community.
Hussle believed in breaking the generational curses of poverty, death, destruction and ignorance that typically plague urban areas.
Gangs are a big issue in L.A. and surrounding areas. Nipsey being an inactive member of Rolling 60’s Crips, used his gang past to try to unify the Black and Latino gangs, not for organized crime but to guide young children to a better way of living a full life.
Rappers usually have the stigma of being materialistic. But Nipsey always taught about his motto of “All Money In,” which meant not frivolously blowing money on things that depreciate and making your money work for you by investing. One could then build generational wealth, something that many minorities in America don’t have.
A father was lost. A partner was lost. A leader was lost. Nipsey Hussle was hip-hop’s own shining prince.