STOKES: Nipsey Hussle, a true neighborhood hero

Jada Stokes is a sophomore mass communication major from Los Angeles, Ca.

Nipsey Hussle. Courtesy photo

Ermias Davidson Asghedom, professionally known as Nipsey Hussle, was father of two, a son, a brother, a friend, an entrepreneur, a community organizer, an activist and a mentor and dope artist from Los Angeles, Calif. 

Hussle became known for his numerous mixtapes, including his “Bullets Ain’t Got No Name” series, “The Marathon”, “The Marathon Continues” and “Crenshaw”.

He created an acronym TMC stands for “The Marathon Continues” which later became the name of his mixtapes, merchandise and motto to himself and the whole community. 

On June 17, 2017, he opened a clothing store in the same neighborhood he grew up in. This building was the birth of his hustle.

Hussle always reminded us to never forget where you came from which is why he never left Crenshaw and Slauson.

Nipsey wanted to make a change is coming to Crenshaw, and he was aiming to be on its bleeding edge. 

In February 2017 Nipsey and his business partner Dave Gross paid “a couple million” for the Crenshaw plaza to  rebuild it as a six-story residential building atop a commercial plaza where a revamped Marathon store would be the anchor tenant.

I think it is only right to say Hussle set an example on how a hip-hop artist can influence his listeners and educate them by his words turning into actions.

He was recently featured in a GQ spread with his longtime girlfriend actress Lauren London that showcased special landmarks in the Crenshaw Districts such as Hungry Harolds and Slauson Donuts, to name a few. London and Hussle share a young son name Kross, they also both had prior children from different relationships.

At the age of 33, in parallel to establishing himself as a hip-hop artist he created Vector90, a 4,700 square foot co-working space, dedicated to teaching STEM to students in South Los Angeles. Hussle also hosted several social events for kids and open a basketball with the help off his endorsement with Puma.

Hussle was working on the documentary about the life of Dr. Sebi which will be taken over by actor and friend Nick Cannon.

On March 31, 2018, Hussle was murdered outside his store, Marathon Clothing, in South Los Angeles and later died at a hospital in Downtown Los Angeles. He was 33 years old.

On Sunday, April 3 Hussle’s songs and albums reportedly sold a combined 15,000 copies–a large increase compared to the 1,000 copies reported on Saturday. On their own, Nipsey’s songs collected 13,000 downloads and his albums sold nearly 2,000 copies. 

After his death was reported, fans and family members came to the first place that had always started his hustle. There was support all around Crenshaw and Slauson and citizens want to change those same streets that raised him change to “Nipsey Hussle Way”. 

I lived down the street from his store, and I would come to he Marathon Store and go support him and his business because I appreciate what he was trying to do for our city. He was someone who put our community on the map when people thought the Crenshaw District was just about violence.

Hussle was that motivation that I needed growing up. He provided jobs and career opportunities for his neighborhood-peers who had felonies through his entrepreneurship. I’m very heart broken that my neighborhood hero is gone, and when I go home I will pay my respect to what he did for me. 

Grambling’s West Coast Connection held a memorial and live show in the Tiger Express on Wednesday, April 3. 

Members of the organization ask everyone to wear blue to his celebrate Hussle’s life, legacy and of course his music.