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Rest in peace, Nipsey Hussle. You will be missed

Nipsey Hussle was killed in a shooting in front of his Marathon Clothing store in Crenshaw Photo credit: Brandon Todd

Rapper and philanthropist Ermias Asghedom, also known as Nipsey Hussle, was fatally shot and killed in front of his Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles on March 31. He was known and will be remembered for his activism, entrepreneurship and, of course, his music.

Nipsey was shot six times, and two other victims were involved. All three were brought to the hospital where the rapper was pronounced dead. On April 2, suspect Eric Holder was detained by authorities.

The artist grew up in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles and was a member of the Rolling 60 Crips. After finding success, he spent time and money working to improve the community that molded him. He bought property and worked to stop gang violence.

“We (Chief Michael Moore and I) were meeting,” tweeted Steve Soboroff, Los Angeles Police Commissioner. “At the request of Nipsey Hussle, with him and Roc Nation tomorrow at 4 p.m. to talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids. I’m so very sad.”

Nipsey had the means to move and expand away from the Los Angeles projects but instead chose to improve the neighborhood so that kids could grow up without facing all the struggles that he faced. He moved past gang ties to speak on social and political issues. One of the most famous instances is when he was featured on the song “FDT” with his Compton-based contemporary YG, about their distaste for Donald Trump during the 2016 election.

Many artists reached out on social media with condolences for Nipsey’s family, remembering the positivity he brought to his community.

“This is fucked up,” Snoop Dogg said in an emotional video. “Prayers out to the whole family man. This shit got to stop.”

“You were about something…positive,” Pharell tweeted. “And for your community in every chance you had to speak…and because of that, you inspired millions…millions who will uphold your legacy forever. Rest amongst the stars.”

While authorities don’t believe Nipsey’s murder was gang-related, it sheds light on the harsh reality of the dangers of the hood: Even Nipsey’s success and activism couldn’t protect him from the violence in South Central Los Angeles. At his vigil, 19 people were taken to the hospital. It was mostly from “trample injuries,” however, authorities reported there were at least one stabbing and one person hit by a vehicle.

Rap lost a great role model in Nipsey Hussle. His abrupt death is a tragedy. He had recently been finding success, both in his music and entrepreneurial endeavors, and was making plans with Roc Nation and the LAPD to reduce gang-violence and help the children of Crenshaw. We can only hope that his death pushes the causes he always supported and creates the change he would have wanted to see in his community and the world.

Mitchell Kret can be reached at [email protected] or @mkret222 on Twitter.

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