Nipsey Hussle: What Instagram and Your Twitter Feed Aren't Telling You

Image: New York Times

Nipsey Hussle. If you have a smartphone, you know his name. If you’re like me, you probably opened your Instagram feed Monday and found it flooded with “RIP Nipsey Hussle” posts commemorating his life and his legacy. But what life? What legacy? Why does everyone on the face of the world wide web know him, but me. Over the past few days, I have compiled all the information you should know and what the media isn’t telling you.

Ermias Davidson Asghedom. Grammy-nominated artist. Father of two. Child of the street life.

On March 31st, 2019 Nipsey Hussle, 33, was shot to death 6 times in his torso and skull, by Eric Holder, 29, right outside his own clothing store, The Marathon. Nipsey Hussle was no stranger to violence and the struggles of growing up in Crenshaw, South Los Angeles, home to strip malls and fast food restaurants off Slauson Avenue. The murder happened just a day before he and LAPD had scheduled an anti-street violence meeting with representatives from Jay-Z’s entertainment company, Roc Nation. With the words “Slauson Boy” permanently engrained on his back, he was dedicated to transforming Crenshaw into a better city.

As a West Coast rapper and influencer, he collaborated with artists such as Drake, Childish Gambino, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross and Kendrick Lamar. He had a connection to West Coast cruising music and his charisma enabled him to attract headlines and public attention. While his mixtape Crenshaw was made available for free online, he made only 1,000 physical copies and sold them for $100 apiece. Jay-Z reportedly purchased 100 copies. His intention was really to create a loyalty program with his fans.

“When I think of the psychology behind what makes me purchase an artist’s album, it’s always a form of reciprocation. Almost like a token of appreciation after I experience the product,” Hussle said.

He used these earnings to purchase The Marathon clothing store where he employed felons; people who couldn’t find a job due to their criminal record. He purchased the plaza in which his store sat in hopes to transform it into a 6-story apartment complex above the commercial plaza. In February of 2018, he helped launch a STEM Program, invested in 59th street elementary school and beautified local basketball courts.

“In our culture, there’s a narrative that says, ‘Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,’” he told The Los Angeles Times last year. “And that’s cool but there should be something that says, ‘Follow Elon Musk, follow Zuckerberg,” Hussle said.

Twitter threw his name into a tailspin; drawing a parallel to Dr. Sebi medical practices, to Hussle’s assassination. Hussle was featured in a documentary centered around Dr. Sebi’s ability to heal patients of incurable diseases, such as AID’s and cancer, through natural healing. The authorities found fault in his findings because he did not have a physical medical license. Instead, he took his case to court and won, but his success was never brought to the public eye. People have begun to speculate that external forces have been trying to prevent Dr’ Sebi’s practices from being released and therefore Hussle’s murder drew some form of connection.

Image: Twitter

The only issue in this theory was that Eric Holder was not a hitman; he KNEW Hussle. In fact, the footage that circulates on social media fails to reveal that Holder met and shook hands with Hussle minutes before the shooting. Holder was a member of the Rolling 60’s Crip, a prominent gang in the neighborhood, and an up and coming rapper who knew of Hussle. This suggests that it couldn’t have been a rival gang-related crime because Hussle had prior gang affiliation with the Crips. This information also negates any correlation between the shooter and the Dr. Sebi conspiracy theory. (So, maybe twitter got a little out of hand and Nick Cannon might live after all.)

We need to stop calling it gang-violence. We need to stop calling it a conspiracy. We need to start recognizing Hussle for his relentless efforts to see his city thrive.

The actual cause of his death is still unknown and Eric Holder, Hussle’s murderer, as of April 4, 2019 has plead not guilty to the murder charges. Despite how twisted this case may be, we should all be focused on what he was able to achieve while he was alive. More importantly, we need to recognize that Nipsey Hussle never forgot where he came from once he was signed to a major record label or when his song album hit No. 8 on the billboard charts. Not enough rappers are returning to their own communities and giving back the way Nipsey Hussle did. His work is unfinished and gives the opportunity for another public figure to continue his strong legacy.