By JOSEPH QUESADA
Ermias Joseph Asghedom, better known by stage name Nipsey Hussle, was gunned down and killed in South Central Los Angeles on March 31. Nipsey Hussle, commonly referred to as Nipsey, was a Grammy-nominated rapper and artist who was also very involved with community work and outreach. According to NBC News, the rapper was killed in what is suspected to be a gang-related shooting just one day before he was scheduled to meet with Los Angeles Police Department officials to discuss gang violence in the South Central area.
As an artist, Nipsey released seven mixtapes and a chart-topping studio album that landed him a recent Grammy nomination. Once a gang member and street dealer, Nipsey drastically altered his life choices to focus on his work as an artist and involvement in his community. According to HuffPost, the 33-year-old owned an assortment of shops and businesses in the South Central area, including a clothing and label shop where he was killed on the 31st in the afternoon. One of his latest projects was “Too Big to Fail,” which worked in collaboration with Vector-90, a coworking space and STEM facility that aids young entrepreneurs and business owners. Nipsey often donated clothes and school supplies to underprivileged children, renovated recreational facilities and gave jobs to homeless and unemployed individuals in the area.
His generous contributions to the community have landed him much support and love from his peers and fans alike. In a recent interview with Forbes, Nipsey stated that one of his main goals “was to work with black community leaders in other U.S. cities to create similar business and real estate hubs designed to benefit rather than push out the black community.”
The rapper was also a public advocate for “Destination Crenshaw,” a cultural museum and experience located in the heart of the Crenshaw district that celebrates African American figures and achievements. One of Nipsey’s most famous ongoing projects was his health and lifestyle-related documentary focused on Alfredo Bowman, a holistic herbalist that implements natural remedies and cures to treat various diseases.
The legacy of Nipsey Hussle will be remembered by Congress as his many acts of philanthropy will be recorded in congressional record and be met with praise within the Federal government. Congresswoman Karen Bass of California entered a short statement into the record on April 10, honoring the rapper for his outstanding community work in the south Los Angeles area. USA Today states that an online petition has surfaced, lobbying to change the intersection of Crenshaw Blvd and Slauson Ave, where the rapper was killed, to Nipsey Hussle blvd. Nipsey Hussle is sadly another rapper whose life was cut short due to unnecessary gang violence; however, Nipsey will always be remembered not only for his music and work as an artist but also his work as a philanthropist and community figure.