Beloved rapper, businessman and philanthropist Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot Sunday outside of his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles’ Hyde Park neighborhood. He was 33.
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed via Twitter the shooting. “At approximately 3:20 pm there was a shooting reported in the area of Slauson Ave and Crenshaw Blvd. 3 victims were transported to a local hospital where one was pronounced dead.”
The LAPD has described the shooting suspect only as a “male Black.”
Hussle, born and raised in the Crenshaw area of South Los Angeles, was of Eritrean descent. He opened up about his first trip to Eritrea during an interview with Complex in 2010: “When I went back home in 2004, I went for three months. That was my first time in Africa at all. My first time meeting my Granny, aunties, and cousins. It was me, my brother, and my pops,” he said.
With more than a decade of experience in the rap game, he dropped his debut album, Victory Lap, to rave reviews in February 2018. Garnering critical acclaim, the 16-track project earned a No. 4 spot on Billboard’s 200 albums chart and a Grammy nod for Best Rap Album.
In February 2018, he spoke with EBONY about preparing his highly anticipated album, “Everything’s elevated,” he said. “I knew this body of work would be the album, so the standards were higher for everything—from production to the transitions to challenging myself lyrically, sequencing, the mixing process, everything.”
While he achieved commercial success with his first studio album, Neighborhood Nip had a cultlike following of fans who had supported his musical efforts since 2005’s Slauson Boy mixtape.
In 2013, he introduced the Proud2Pay model for his Crenshaw project. An ode to his neighborhood, Hussle made the mixtape free to download and sold limited hard copies for $100 each. According to MTV News, JAY-Z was so impressed with the rapper’s business acumen that he purchased 100 copies of the project.
He kept the same business motto for 2015’s Mailbox Money but upped the price to $1,000 a copy. He shared his decision with the Los Angeles Times to take such a unique
“I don’t want to make songs that I don’t like and that I’m not inspired by. I won’t be on the radio with these types of records and that’s fine if I can get $100 for CDs and sell ten times less and equal the same amount of profit,” he said. “But I want to make music that I believe in and that I’m inspired by. And not music that I feel like has to make it past the radio gatekeeper or the label gatekeeper.”
More than just an emcee, Hussle was adamant about uplifting his neighborhood and the state of Black people.
He owned several businesses and employed up-and-coming artists from his hometown in the Hyde Park shopping center where he was gunned down.
In February 2017, he launched the 4,700-square-foot co-working space and Science, Technology, Engineering
“I just want to give back in an effective way,” he said. “I remember being young and really having the best intentions and not being met on my efforts. You’re, like, ‘I’m going to really lock into my goals and my passion and my talents’ but you see no industry support. You see no structures or infrastructure built and you get a little frustrated.”
He was also involved with the creation of Destination Crenshaw, a 1.3 mile- long outdoor art and culture experience honoring Black Los Angeles.
Hundreds of supporters gathered at the site where he was gunned down to pay homage to the rapper. Anita
Drake, Rihanna, Lebron James, Ava DuVernay have joined the ranks of celebrities, politicians and athletes honoring the late emcee.
Hussle is survived by his longtime girlfriend Lauren London; a daughter, Emani; a son, Kross; his parents and siblings.