Exactly a year ago today, rapper Nipsey Hussle tragically lost his life. On March 31st, 2019, 33-year-old Ermias Asghedom, AKA Nipsey Hussle, a Grammy-nominated rapper, entrepreneur, songwriter, philanthropist, and father, was shot and killed in hometown of Los Angeles. You may not have known his name or he may not have been on your top celebrity on your radar. However, unfortunately all too often a life full of promise is gone too soon. Death brings a level of global retrospect as fans, supporters and sympathizers alike paid their respects to another fallen star, an inspiring life that received its spotlight in death.
“The highest human act is to inspire”, he tweeted in May of 2016. This quote strikes out to me and countless others who did not only see him as a Rapper but an inspiration to his people and community.
Amongst his musical achievements, especially winning a Grammy earlier this year, Hussle was also widely respected for his philanthropy and activism. A signature theme across his music was his turbulent upbringing in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Los Angeles; a neighborhood notorious for gang violence. Throughout his career the rapper was known to be candid about his past affiliation with gang culture, himself a member of the Rollin 60’s Crips. Yet his experiences became an integral force behind his career, fueling not only his lyrics of overcoming poverty and gang culture but also his desire to help his community. In 2018, he played a crucial role in opening a STEM center (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) for children and Vector 90, a cultural hub for entrepreneurs and creatives in his neighborhood of Crenshaw. These centers are a vital addition to the Crenshaw community, helping provide access to improved education and career fields which often lack cultural diversity.
"In our culture, there's a narrative that says, 'Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers’. "And that's cool but there should be something that says, 'Follow Elon Musk, follow [Mark] Zuckerberg.’ I think that with me being influential as an artist and young and coming from the inner city, it makes sense for me to be one of the people that's waving that flag” - Nipsey Hussle to the Los Angeles Times, March 2018.
It is heart-breaking the anniversary of his death falls in a period when the world is in quarantine, facing one of its most difficult moments, as there is a wild spread of death and instability caused by the COVID- 19 continues to evolve, preventing loved ones and fans of Nipsey Hussle to come together to celebrate his legacy.
Nevertheless with every disappointment comes a blessing. Let’s use this downtime to reflect on the lessons Nipsey’s left in his lyrics, his quotes, and lifestyle. As a man, who
promoted perseverance, love, and care for his community, we should be inspired to do the same for it is exactly what the world needs today. During these uncertain times, we should encourage each other, living out of our comfort and interest to save mankind. Nipsey Hussle was known for giving back and working to revitalize his community, and now it is calling for us to unite, as we practice social distancing, of course, to save our communities through compassion and innovation.
As a towering figure in the community he not only created change, he was the change agent who inspired the lives of millions. His legacy will continue to inspire a new generation of leaders around the world. Through his efforts, the youth of Los Angeles has been exposed to a wealth of new opportunities like never before, and a new wave of social entrepreneurs have been born. Nipsey Hussle was living proof that no matter your past, circumstance or where you come you have the power to lead for a better tomorrow.
Although things in the world may look bleak right now, always remember...
“Stay ten toes down it's not in you it's on you and what's in you they can never take away.”
The Marathon Continues 🏁
Long Live Nipsey Hussle the Great!
Rest In Power
Ermias Joseph "Nipsey Hussle" Asghedom
August 15, 1985 - March 31, 2019
Written by Skánia Yasmina, CEO | THE VOEU AGENCY