I’m not about to sit up here and front like I was constantly banging Nipsey Hussle’s music day and night. Yeah, I’d seen him pop up on my YouTube timeline when he’d stop by different radio stations to discuss various projects that he’d been working on. And, yeah, I caught pictures of him and his longtime girlfriend, actress Lauren London, sitting court side at the Lakers games from time to time. Of course I knew that he was a Grammy-nominated artist; but, I’d never taken the time to really sit down and consume this man’s music, to see what he was really offering the hip hop community.
Then, this past Sunday (03/31) as I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline, I saw a tweet from Atlanta hip-hop radio station Hot 107.9, stating that Nipsey Hussle had been shot SIX times in Los Angeles.
Report: Nipsey Hussle Shot In Los Angeles https://t.co/QFFhrbXLj2
— Hot 1079 Atlanta (@hot1079atl) March 31, 2019
At that time it hadn’t been confirmed that the shooting had resulted in Nipsey’s fatality. Initially, after the news began to spread, there was a tremendous outpouring of folks sending prayers to Nipsey and his family, hoping that he would pull through from this horrific event.
The news of this particular shooting incident catapulted me back to 1996, when media outlets reported that Tupac Shakur had been shot multiple times along the Las Vegas strip. I remember being an overly optimistic kid back then, and being extra confident that ‘Pac’ was going to pull through and be back dropping hits in no time. Little did I know, those same media outlets would come back six days later and announce to the world that we had lost a legend forever.
Now, 20-plus years later, the same type of tragedy snatched another soul who was obviously destined for greatness. Nipsey Hussle, 33, was pronounced dead on Sunday, March 31, 2019, at 3:55pm PST.
After learning that Nipsey had succumb to his gunshot wounds, I probed into every detail of his life. In taking that plunge, I discovered that Nipsey was much more than a rapper. He was an actual savior of his community. Nipsey used his rap status as a platform to build up the neighborhood that he grew up in and give back as much as he could. And there was no doubt that he touched the lives and hearts of many people, within his community, as well… Click To Tweet California Senator/Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris tweeted:
Nipsey’s activism, leadership, and dedication to community was an inspiration for Californians and beyond. His senseless death leaves us worse off. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and the greater Los Angeles community.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) April 1, 2019
Then, I took it upon myself to really delve into what Nipsey had to offer musically. I woke up the next morning and downloaded the Nipsey Hussle playlist from Tidal. And, I must say that I was missing out, by sleeping on this talent.
I started with his last single, “Racks in the Middle” (featuring Roddy Rich and Hit Boy) which dropped back in February. The lyrics of the track detail a rags-to-riches mentality. Nipsey distinguished the culture of growing up in an area surrounded by violence and death and how it felt to become successful, without forgetting that he was a product of the ‘hood.
I continued to pour through the track list during my workout, and as I mentioned earlier, I realized that I had missed out on some true musical gems from Nipsey Hussle. Some of the other songs that have been and will remain in heavy rotation are “Victory Lap“(featuring Stacy Barthe), “Feelin’ Myself“, “Killer” (featuring Drake), “Been Down” (featuring Swizz Beatz), and “Loaded Bases” (featuring CeeLo Green).This world has lost a faithful warrior, a father, and a son, who took the initiative to give, to the less fortunate, the things that weren't provided to him as a youth, growing up in one of the deadliest 'hoods in Southern… Click To Tweet
But, we must strive to take a page from the Chapter of Hussle and continue his positive path. Nipsey may be g’on from this earthly world, but he’ll never be forgotten. Rest in Paradise, Nipsey. May your legacy live on Forever.