“So tell whoever got it locked that Nipsey Hussle stole the key”
April 6, 2019 11:41 AM   Subscribe

Nipsey Hussle: a hip-hop samaritan who lifted up Los Angeles [The Guardian] “Ermias Asghedom, the rapper better known as Nipsey Hussle, knew his worth and implored his community to know theirs. Raised in Los Angeles, where he also died on Sunday afternoon in a shooting outside his Marathon Clothing store,”

• Nipsey Hussle’s Legacy Is Bigger Than Rap [Pitchfork]
“Few rappers were more involved in their communities. He launched a coworking space and business incubator with inner city initiative Vector90. He started a STEM program for Crenshaw kids. He was a community partner on Destination Crenshaw, a mile-long outdoor museum honoring black locals. He walked with Trayvon Martin’s parents at a peace event. He refurbished a roller rink. Through his Marathon Store and a partnership with Puma, he made a $10,000 donation to a local elementary school, restoring their basketball court. He spoke at Los Angeles business schools. He was paying it forward at every opportunity.”
• Nipsey Hussle’s dreams were bigger than hip-hop [L.A. Times]
“Cut across any of his work — there’s a decade’s worth online beyond “Victory Lap” — and you’ll see a man haunted by the rigors of watching friends drop, not to mention catching too many close calls himself. Those who grew up in enclaves dodging bullets and fists understood what he was about, although he made it clear in the music: “Damn right, I like the life I built / I’m from west side, 60 … I might got killed / Standin’ so tall, they think I might got stilts/ Legendary baller, like Mike, like Wilt,” he riffs on the album that broke him to audiences far outside L.A., and is now his only major-label offering. Hussle made music for the street hustlers and those of us struggling to make ends meet and he became a local hero for using the fame and fortune he got from rapping and pouring it back into the neighborhood. It’s easy to root for a man who sold copies of his mixtapes out of the parking lot of a strip mall and turned right around and opened a shop in that same mall the second he could afford it.”
• Why Nipsey Hussle’s Death Feels So Devastating [Buzzfeed News]
“Nipsey boasted this spirit of manifestation on the Mailbox Money track “That’s How I Knew.” He proclaims, “I seen it, I thought it, I dreamed it / I said it, I did it, I meant it.” His accrual of achievements and riches on the song bespoke blessings and hard work. It meant a great deal for me and other black and brown people to see and hear Nipsey refusing to sign to a major label and using unorthodox business models, like selling Mailbox Money for $100 a copy, to build his wealth as well as his commitment to living in and giving back to the Crenshaw District. For heroes who stay in the hood though, there’s always the looming risk of running into a faux nemesis or a mega-hater who can’t see past their contempt and who believes there are stripes to earn from taking down the good guy. What does it take to stand in the face of that very real possibility, daily, without folding? Meek Mill, Philly’s utmost paragon for redemption, prison reform advocate, and good friend of Nipsey’s tweeted his sentiments about this sinister phenomenon in peril:
“I know they’ll kill me in my hood, but I just keep on coming thru…. still wit it…. the graveyard throwing a party for all the real niggas,” he wrote. In another tweet he asked: “Can you imagine trying to fight for niggas you know will kill you?”
• It Hurts to See Nipsey Hussle’s Life Not Mattering [The Atlantic]
“I didn’t know Nipsey Hussle, but I knew Nipsey Hussle. Hussle’s murder in his Los Angeles neighborhood last Sunday was a heartbreaking conclusion to an unfortunately common story. Another talented young black man was senselessly killed, police say, by another black man, leaving behind mourning families and communities that have become accustomed to absorbing such standard trauma. It hurts to see this version of a black life not mattering. But part of making any kind of sense of Hussle’s death means keeping it real about the ruthless violence plaguing far too many African American communities, including the neighborhood Hussle was committed to transforming and saving. [...] But Hussle wasn’t killed because he was a symbol of black liberation. He was killed because, as the old adage goes, not everyone in your circle is necessarily in your corner. These conspiracy theories were so easy for some to grasp because the truth is much more difficult to accept.”
posted by Fizz (16 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Fizz at 11:42 AM on April 6, 2019

posted by PistachioRoux at 11:46 AM on April 6, 2019

posted by nightrecordings at 11:49 AM on April 6, 2019

posted by oneswellfoop at 11:57 AM on April 6, 2019

posted by clseace at 12:08 PM on April 6, 2019

posted by one teak forest at 1:19 PM on April 6, 2019

I didn't know who he was until he was murdered, and now I'm angry that I missed his work while he was still alive.

From the Guardian artlicle, this is what the Los Angeles Lakers said about him.

The period feels insufficient.

posted by Nyrha at 1:40 PM on April 6, 2019 [6 favorites]

Two thoughtful reflections I've read from LGBTQ Black writers:

Black LGBTQ+ People Deserve to Feel How They Want About Nipsey Hussle (Raquel Willis, out.com)

Nipsey Hussle and Mourning the Transformations that Never Happen (Myles E. Johnson, Afropunk)
posted by ITheCosmos at 2:02 PM on April 6, 2019 [13 favorites]

Yeah, this quote:
“Can you imagine trying to fight for niggas you know will kill you?”
is poignant in more than one way. A lot of people live that, actually.

I’m so sorry he’s gone, and I’m sorry for everyone who has to suffer yet another trauma.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:37 PM on April 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

posted by Sphinx at 3:56 PM on April 6, 2019


I literally never got past his rap name. I think I heard one song of his when he first came out what seems like 9 or 10 years ago. When he was killed, I saw so many stars and star athletes posting pictures they had taken with him or talking about things they'd done with him. I was genuinely shocked. I thought he was about as well known as like Denmark Vessey or Guilty Simpson or like Uptown XO or Casey Veggies. But he made a nice sized dent and did some good, even though it seems like he was repeating that "agenda" nonsense.
posted by cashman at 5:26 PM on April 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

posted by oceanjesse at 6:11 PM on April 6, 2019

posted by MexicanYenta at 8:26 PM on April 6, 2019

This afternoon I went for a run, noting lots of spring fever out and about (Chicago). This included a big picnic at a spot in the park where I've frequently seen ethnic communities gather for a cookout during the warmer months. On my return past the picnic, I saw the group had unfurled a flag I didn't immediately recognize, and had stared to pump out some music, per usual for a gathering. But the music was noticeably vulgar, far more than usual for these sort cross-generational community picnics. Seemed odd to me... but I kept running.

Reading this post, it makes sense. The flag -- Eritrea (Nipsey Hustle's father was Eritrean and he visited the country in 2016). The music -- pride for their own.

Barely familiar with his music or the man, but the emotional reaction to his death -- Russell Westbrook, making sure everyone understands the 60s for his friend -- means that I have some homework to do.

posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 8:54 PM on April 6, 2019

posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:16 PM on April 6, 2019

posted by viramamunivar at 4:01 PM on April 8, 2019

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