Sunday’s fatal shooting of rapper Nipsey Hussle in front of his Los Angeles clothing store, in broad daylight, shocked fans and the entertainment industry.
The Grammy-nominated artist from Crenshaw, born Ermias Asghedom, became an impactful part of his community, even with his flaws. From a gang member running the streets to a community activist and businessman trying to clean them up. Nipsey preached economic empowerment and education to neighborhood residents.
Some of his most notable projects included launching Vector90, a coworking space and STEM center; buying the strip mall that housed his clothing business; owning a barbershop; opening a fish market; investing in Destination Crenshaw, an open-air art project featuring local black art; and producing a documentary relating to the 1985 trial of Alfredo Darrington Bowman, aka Dr. Sebi, an herbalist who claimed he could cure AIDS.
If there is anything we can learn from Hussle, it would be the importance of investing in our communities. He was buying back his L.A. neighborhood before developers could gentrify it. Back in February, Hussle told Forbes that he planned to turn the plaza he bought into a mixed-use development with housing and retail.
As Charlotte continues to grow and faces its need for more affordable housing, will there be a Nipsey Hussle to step in on behalf of the underserved communities?
Hussle seemed to positively impact a number of celebrities, including those with Carolina ties. Here are a few reactions from some of them surrounding Nipsey’s passing:
This Is Real Hard to believe. It’s such a let down from society and in human beings. We’ve let evil once again take away another True Soldier! Prayers of comfort to your family and loved ones. We had a brilliant conversation on the plane last year and you had hella plans and big things about to happen. Glad we were able to create music. I’ll forever Bang Yo Shit!!! Rest Easy Nip!!!
Nipsey you a legend. I respect and admire your career path and what you did for the neighborhood. My heart broke today when I saw the news. I’m praying for your loved ones. This was sposed to be the year we got one in. God had bigger plans for you 🙏🏿
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) April 1, 2019
Just hearing about this and I’m devastated 💔 my Husband and I respected this Mans Music and his Journey of changing the Minds of Men/ people around this lost world. King never speaks to anyone when we go to events but when spotted him in the room he said to me @nipseyhussle I have to salute this one Queen, and you know I don’t “ever do that. I remember him being so humble and having the eye of the tiger, headed towards everything he’d envisioned and inspiring many all over the world while doing so. I’m broken hearted to even have to write about another Great being gone way to soon Rest In Peace King Nip!
— Chris Paul (@CP3) April 1, 2019
— Baron Davis (@BaronDavis) April 1, 2019
— Rapsody (@rapsody) April 1, 2019
Can’t believe it. @nipseyhussle was as real as they come. Incredible artist & wise businessman. Your grind, determination, & character inspired us all. You were always consistent – one of the nicest and realest dudes – ALWAYS. We had some really insightful conversations & I’ll forever be grateful for that. This is such an unbelievable loss. I’m so sorry @laurenlondon , don’t even know what to say. My deepest prayers to the family & all loved ones. This one cuts deep 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
Kallan Louis is a writer and consultant for qcitymetro.com. He does a lot, but never feels like he’s doing enough. His life can be described as a Venn Diagram: News media, Black culture and sports. He’s always on TV, but rarely seen.