News broke Sunday afternoon that sent the entire world into turmoil. Philanthropist, Rapper, & Entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle was unfortunately fatally gunned down outside of the remarkable Plaza that he owns. Born Ermias Asghedom, Nipsey is beyond a typical rapper. As it has already, the act of violence should evoke the rage and hatred within you that was displayed by the animal committing. Giving back to his community in multiple streams of positivity, encouragement, and knowledge he quickly became a prolific cultural statement with melodies of reliable adjectives promoting anyone to get off of their sorrows and chase whatever the dream is.
“A principal in South L.A. where he grew up, “Neighborhood Nip” was easily the most influential among the youth and community beyond instilling back into roots what he’d learn climbing up the tree.”
Since he started, he’d always stressed the principle of ownership and how important it is to be a staple in the black community. Starting back to the grounds of his career, in October of 2013 he was setting to giveaway his eight mixtape, Crenshaw, for free when he remember an excerpt he’d previously read on what makes things buzz. “We were just like, ‘Let’s print it up like a limited edition novelty game, kind of like with video games when you got the extra package that comes with the headset,’” he told XXL. “I had been reading a book about what makes people talk about things, what makes things go viral and what makes things contagious,” he continued. “There was an example in this book about a restaurant owner who made a $100 cheesesteak… It made some people curious, it made other people upset, but more than anything it created conversation. And he ended up on the Oprah show, and he ended up on David Letterman talking about this $100 cheesesteak.”
The physical copies included more than melodies, but were numbered, autographed and included a ticket to a future performance. Needless to say, that $100.00 mixtape sold out in less than 24 hours and net him $100,000 dollars. Amongst the buyers of the limited edition musical gold was Jay-Z who bought 100 copies to show his support to the rising businessman. Leading up to many business ventures later, one of his prominent is purchase the strip plaza in Crenshaw. Along with his business partner, Dave Gross, they shelled out a couple of million dollars with big plans of renovating the location into a multi-use commercial and residential facility. In an interview with Leah Uko, he told her the plans would include a six-story reno hosting barbershop, a Creole seafood restaurant and a local convenience store, and more.
Vector 90 is one of the most educating of his franchise, a co-working space in Silicone Valley that is set up to as an alternative to gang culture bridging young talent from the not so nourishing parts of their neighborhood and provide opportunities to nurture their creativity. In the same building, there’s a STEM program to aid young children as well. Fast forward to date, where his long awaited debut album was nominated for a Grammy Award.
“As an artist, there’s a business model that exists in the music industry to prevent you from having ownership, to prevent you from being a partner in the lion’s share of the profit. The value is created in content, so when I think of us as hip-hop artists, we create content, but we don’t have a wide product line.”
Nip lives on in spirit through his beautiful wife Lauren London, his two children, and a rigorous light of love, leadership, and Hussle. Let us not dwell on the memories of tragedy but push forward in the harvesting of the many lessons he preached in the neighborhood.
Thank you Nipsey, for such a prolific Victory Lap.