Nipsey Hussle was more than just a hip-hop artist, he was the embodiment of positive change within the entire hip-hop community.
Born Ermias Davidson Asghedom to an African-American mother and an Eritrean father, Nipsey Hussle was more than just a Grammy nominated hip-hop artist. Nipsey was a family man, loyal husband to the beautiful Lauren London, ambassador for black wealth, a role model father to his children, a activist, philanthropist, and just a overall great person who will be missed be a lot of people. Hussle was the definition of everything positive in hip hop. With the heartbreaking news of his tragic death, social media was in shambles and the disbelief from his sudden death. His sudden passing sparked a sudden interest into uncovering the reason he got shot. Regardless of what “conspiracy theory” you might believe in, you can’t deny that he was the pure embodiment of the “Six Elements Of The Hip Hop Movement”. First created by one of the pioneers in hip-hop’s Public Enemy, these elements consist of Consciousness Awareness, Civil Rights Awareness, Activism Awareness, Justice, Political Awareness, and Community Awareness in music. Nipsey Hussle always acclimated these ideas into his lyrics. Some examples can be found below:
“I laid down the game for you n*ggas taught you how to charge more than what they paid for you n*ggas own the whole thing for you n*ggas re-invest, double up then explained for you n*ggas. It gotta be love, who run the whole city? It gotta be cause this for the pieces I took off the Monopoly board” | Nipsey Hussle, Last Time That I’d Checc’d (Ft YG)
“I ain’t got a boss, I am not a slave, turning up my hustle is how I give myself a raise” | Nipsey Hussle, Sound of my ceremony
“I passed all my goals, then I mapped out some more, On this never ending road I fix flats in the cold, Respect how I master my role, and I made it all happen alone” |Nipsey Hussle, No Regrets
His messages in his music was more than catchy hooks. He generally wanted to empower people. And with music, Nipsey was a genius. He had a gift to inspire people with not only his words, but his actions. He was a modern day superhero. He even scheduled a meeting with LAPD officials and Roc Nation representatives right before his murder to discuss combating gang violence and to make Los Angeles safer for children. The issue hit close to home as Nipsey was a former member of the Rollin 60s, a group he once put in his own words as “one of the biggest Crip gangs of our generation”. With his almost “omnipresent” knowledge and “Street cred,” he had the ability to resolve many issues plaguing his neighborhood. He didn’t just speak idealism in his lyrics. Nipsey was about making change a reality and he did that fully with his own neighborhood.
“Instead of trying to build a brick wall, lay a brick everyday. Eventually you’ll look up and you’ll have a brick wall.” |Nipsey Hussle on Change
Within the Crenshaw district, the residence of LA that Nipsey grew up in has made changes that will forever be remembered by its citizens as shining pillars of excellence. He described growing up in Crenshaw as a “war zone,” and he was tired of it. So he decided to get the platform to make the change he wanted to see. Last year, Nipsey launched the “Too Big Too Fail” initiative in collaboration with Vector 90, a STEM center and co-working space for youth in the Crenshaw which purpose it to bridge the gap between between the inner cities and Silicon Valley. He opened the center a day before the release of his Grammy-nominated 16-song debut album, Victory Lap.
Nipsey had plans on expanding the Vector 90 project beyond LA to other cities across the U.S., including Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Atlanta, giving from inner city youth the option to explore alternative paths to success. He also was involved in other community projects including the new Destination Crenshaw arts project, an museum and outdoor culture center celebrating the history of black art in Los Angeles. Hussle often shows up to an elementary school in Crenshaw and provided funds for the renovation of the school’s playground and basketball courts. he own multiple businesses and gave jobs to struggling and homeless residents.
His legacy lies in more than just quality music, he was an amazing person. Nipsey Hussle was not only the embodiment of hip-hop musically, but also culturally and he shall be missed. His legacy lives on in Crenshaw and throughout the whole industry. Everybody in music from every genre paid homage to the late hip hop star and that alone shows his significance to hip-hop. Rest in peace Nipsey Hussle, Hip-Hop will cherish your music and actions forever!