On a hot but gloomy Thursday evening on April 11th, 2019, there was a sense of despair in the air, the vibe in L.A. was off and emotions were high. On this the day, Ermias Eghedom “Nipsey Hussle” lost his life in front of his clothing store in Los Angeles, CA. Who would have known that that day, that moment in time, his death would have such an affect on US.
Us = Hip-Hop and the Black community
Not to say that his death did not affect other groups but I’m sticking to the motto, “For Us, By Us”. The motto “For Us, By Us” is something that Nipsey stood proudly on. Nipsey taught health and wealth to the Crenshaw/Slauson community, Black people as a whole and anyone who was listening and paying attention. According to ArtPartySpace, Nipsey hired, assisted and impacted 41,369 of “US” in Tech. He reopened the historic, World on Wheels skating rink that was damaged during the 1992 L.A. Riots for “US”. He also had an active role in establishing “Destination Crenshaw”, a 1.3 pubic art space honoring L.A.’s Black heritage set up to open in 2020 for ” US” and I only touched the surface of the great things that he has done.
Nipsey was a regular face around the Crenshaw/Slauson area. Anyone who was born and raised or frequent there will tell you a positive interaction they had with Nip or around him. Nipsey was Eritrean-American but he stood for the Black community he was in but never lost sight of where his ancestors came from; stand up guy. One of Nipseys next missions was to collaborate with the Los Angeles Police Department to decrease gang violence in the city. After Nips death, L.A. gangs took it upon themselves to reunite and bring peace to the city because that is what Nip would have wanted; stand up city. The city also took it upon themselves to name the intersection of Crenshaw and Slauson by The Marathon Store, “Nipsey Hussle Square”; stand up city. Knowing L.A. culture, you would have thought there would be riots and madness in the city in response to his murder but surprisingly enough, it was the opposite; stand up city. There have been a lot of peace rally’s, discussions, get together’s, safe spaces and candle light vigils instead; stand up city.
Instead of focusing on the negative aspects surrounding Nipseys death, L.A. has taken his death peacefully and in order as Nipsey would have wanted. Of course there was and still is confusion, sadness, and anger but Nipey was about nothing but love and that is what the city has gave each other, to him, to his family and loved ones. Death is an uncomfortable thing, especially from someone who was taken from this earth too soon but death is apart of life and that is something that I and the everyone else should remember. Nipsey was put on this earth to move US, to shift our thinking and to impact US and that is exactly what he did and we will forever appreciate that and will never forget what he means to US.
My ode to Los Angeles is that the city will keep up this beautiful energy of Blackness, unity, pride, creativity and togetherness and does not fold.
I have a feeling that we will not fold in honor of Nip. May he rest in peace as we continue the marathon.