South Central, Los Angeles–Today the Black community in South Central as well as Hip-Hop as a whole, took a severe lost. Rapper Nipsey Hussle was gunned down at his Marathon Clothing Store on Slauson and Crenshaw around 3:20 p.m. today.
He was shot multiple times and was said to have suffered a head wound. Two other people were also shot but survived the shooting.
He was 33.
Born Ermias Asgedom, Nipsey was a literal South Central legend. He tripled what he put into the music business while retaining ownership of his catalogue.
Through his branding, marketing and hustle skills, he put our intersection Slauson and Crenshaw on the map in a way that has never been done before, while building a lucrative clothing business. Within all his success, his music inspired people from all walks of life, even if they did not grow up on the streets of South Central.
If you are coming from the same streets as Nipsey, his business moves and music take on a different meaning. Growing up catching the same bus lines, maneuvering these same inner city streets in our quest for brighter days, you know how powerful Nipsey’s success is to the streets of South Central.
He made you feel like your dreams were possible despite growing up in the ghetto. Nipsey represented Black excellence and Black entrepreneurship and the importance of Black folks with money investing in the inner city.
He made you think about ownership within our own communities, the same communities we have suffered in for so long.
According to a LAPD Media relations Lieutenant, officers responded to Nipsey’s clothing store around 3:25 p.m. Three people were suffering from gunshot wounds and were transported to a hospital. The police have only released vague information on the suspect.
“We do understand that we have one Black male suspect, no further description at this time. “
Nipsey and the two others who were shot were standing in the parking lot of his Marathon Clothing store. Nipsey Hussle and his business partners own several businesses in this same parking lot. He just finished construction on a restaurant and a barbershop named in honor of his slain friend Fats. Nipsey announced recently that he actually purchased the whole building in the parking lot. This was touched on in an article Forbes did on Nipsey back in February.
Nipsey is said to have greeted the shooter, who doubled back and opened fire. Police are calling it a “gang-related” shooting.
This is plausible, due to the fact that Nipsey is a known gang-member. However, he did many songs and collaborations with Bloods such as YG who is a major artist.
Nipsey’s gang-banging was beyond color, it was more about loyalty to something he grew up in. Cripping for Nipsey was more comradery than it was about killing another Black man.
People online as well as those who gathered tonight at Crenshaw and Slauson believe it was bigger than another gang-related shooting. A huge part of me wants to believe them only because if it was one of our own, the impacts on the Black community, especially in South Central, could be everlasting. The mistrust we have for one another would only deepen. The ways we view ourselves and other Black people in our inner cities will continue to be skewed. Black people with money or those who are able to elevate beyond the ghetto, will never look back.