Nipsey Hussle walked towards love. In a recent interview, the 33-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper playfully chatted with his girlfriend and mother to his 3-year-old son, Kross, about who was “better” with their baby. “What was Kross’s first word?” his girlfriend and beloved actress Lauren London, asked. After making the adorable mistake of guessing it was the expression “baba,” she reminded him: “Nooo, Hussle! It was ‘dada!’”
The world stopped Sunday night when news surfaced that just three days after the video was published, the father of two died from multiple gunshot wounds after being gunned down outside of his South Central L.A. based clothing store, The Marathon. Unfortunately, video of the crime scene surfaced online, depicting paramedics’ attempts to resuscitate the hip hop legend, ironically, in front of one of the multiple community-centered businesses he created to breathe life into his childhood neighborhood.
His Crenshaw community hasn’t been a stranger to violence, but recently, thanks to “Neighborhood Nipsey” (as locals called him) and his vital investments into the hood, they were becoming familiar with something new: black-owned businesses and burgeoning opportunity.
The mainstream music community was also cozying up to the idea of a new(ish) rapper who — unlike many ‘breaking’ artists of the new generation — had a fervent intent to spread messages of self-actualization to his people: black and brown people living in low-income communities.
In his legacy, Nipsey Hussle (named Ermias Asghedom by his Eritrean father and Black American mother) was a spark — the beginning of a movement toward radical love among and within marginalized communities. In his personal life, Hussle was a flame — a light stretching forward to bring clarity to each step in his personal evolution.
Here are a few lessons we learned from Hussle about how to have evolving self-love that ultimately reaches everyone we touch.