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Rapper Nipsey Hussle's death touches the music world

by Zach Wagner - Staff Writer
Thu, Apr 11th 2019 04:10 pm
more than a rapper Nipsey Hussle became a pioneer of love and giving back to improvished communities. He was a father, lover and community leader. His legacy will forever live on.
more than a rapper Nipsey Hussle became a pioneer of love and giving back to improvished communities. He was a father, lover and community leader. His legacy will forever live on.

Striving to push urban culture forward and provide for the African American community, rapper Ermias Joseph Asghedom, famously known as Nipsey Hussle, was one of the few left of a dying breed. 

On Saturday March 30, Asghedom sat courtside at the Gonzaga/Texas Tech game, enjoying March Madness like the rest of American sports fans. Standing and cheering, Nipsey was full of life, unaware of the tragic events that would transpire the following evening. 

According to The New York Times, Asghedom was standing outside his clothing company in Hyde Park, Los Angeles on the afternoon of March 31 when he was shot five times. 

Suffering from wounds to the head and chest, he was rushed to the hospital before being pronounced dead at approximately 4 p.m. Two other individuals were wounded at the scene, but the LA native rapper was the only life lost in the drive by shooting.  

The following Monday, a vigil was held for the late MC. Family, friends and fans gathered around the clothing store where Asghedom’s life had tragically been cut short. According to Access Hollywood, a riot was sparked by a loud noise that resembled a gunshot. People tried to flee the scene in a quick panic, trampling over each other as the crowd dispersed in a frenzy. 

Many were injured and one person was stabbed at the scene. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) took to Twitter to dispel rumors about the incident, saying there was no substantial evidence of any gunshots being fired. 

“Reports of shots fired at the vigil do not appear to be accurate,” LAPD wrote. “We do have injured in the chaos and are attempting to restore order.” 

The death of the Grammy nominated rapper has left the hip-hop community heartbroken. Since launching his career in 2005, he was able to deliver 12 mixtapes and one studio album. Being known for his distinct West coast style, Hussle was comparable to iconic California rappers like Tupac, Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube.

Coming up in a time where gangster rap was making a surge into the mainstream music scene, the raspy voiced lyricist wanted to stand out amongst his peers, careful to avoid getting caught in the grasp of a major record company. 

According to hip-hop news site, Ambrosia for Heads, Asghedom backed out of his deal with Epic Records in 2010. Redefining the purpose of a mixtape, Nipsey proved that releasing free music was not just for minor league rappers. He was in a league of his own, branching out and expanding his talents across all aspects of the industry. Asghedom was able to make a difference without being part of a major label.  

Apart from the music, Asghedom was quite the activist in the African American community. He stood as a figure that was devoted to reshaping the culture for his people and giving back as much as he could. According to Huffington Post, he was involved in many projects servicing the advancement of his community. Before his death, Asghedom was working with the LAPD to address gun violence in the cutthroat streets of Los Angeles. He was revitalizing the community with new real estate developments and spending millions on a strip mall in south Los Angeles that added stores to the area. He invested in the education of young people, donating shoes and money to elementary students and helping reconstruct local playgrounds and basketball courts. 

When reflecting on the career of Nipsey Hussle, labeling him as just an artist doesn’t do him justice. He was a leader, a creator, a self-made man and a man of the people. Getting into hip hop around the era of Lil Wayne and Drake, I never really gave much attention to Nipsey musically. I knew him as someone who was deeply rooted in the culture, more of a figure than a rapper. In my opinion there was nobody like Nipsey. Far from the stereotypical rapper, he was a man who truly cared about his people. 

Using his platform to make a difference in the world, Asghedom stands alone as a champion in an industry where fame and money is the main priority of many artists.

He may be gone, but will never be forgotten. The legacy of Nipsey Hussle will hopefully be carried on by the rest of the hip-hop community, setting a new standard for artists to come in the future.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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