what Nipsey Hussle’s death means

It’s heartbreaking. Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed March 31 outside of his LA clothing store.

Nipsey Hussle was a rapper, by trade, from LA. but his biggest gift and talent to the world was his philanthropy beginning his path to community and social activism. He was born Ermias Joseph Davidson Ashgedom. Ermias, Eritrean, meaning sent by GOD. His father was of Eritrean descent and mother of African American descent.

I came to know of him several years ago through the love of his life, Lauren London. I’d heard his mixtapes and even jammed to a few tracks off his debut album Victory Lap. But what really peaked my curiosity in his life was his social activism in his community. Nipsey was from the Rollin 60s as he like to reference it. Between Crenshaw and Slauson Ave. which the city of Los Angeles has graciously renamed Nipsey Hussle square.

I mean what rapper has that type of rapport with a major city like LA. From further research of his background I found that not only was he a member of the Crips but across countless videos of interviews of his past speaking on collective economics, you know Ujamaa, building his community up through food, innovation and entrepreneurship.

His most recent work that grabbed my attention was a documentary he was in the works to produce about the world renowned Dr. Sebi, an herbalist, pathologist and healer from Honduras who was known to have the cure to many chronic illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and cancer.

His remedy was pretty simple.

Food.

Not just any food but live foods.

What if I told you I had the cure for cancer? What if I told you I had the cure for HIV/AIDS would you believe me?

His stage name is what was most curious to me. How did he come up with a name like Nipsey Hussle similar to the famed actor Nipsey Russell?

This dude is different.

He recognized at an early age his own capability,” she said of her boy, born Ermias Asghedom. “His own potential. He has always known.”

This brother was on his way to making change in his communities and perhaps around the world. He was set to have a meeting with the chief of police to end gang violence the day before he was assasinated.

He owned the very first “smart” clothing store” where customers can interact with the apparel digitally. He was investing in cryptocurrency as well.

Nipsey was cutting edge and a progressive and for his people.

He also owned a few other businesses in a particular strip mall right where he was from.

Ironically, where he was gunned down.

He developed an innovation center where creative like-minded individuals can have access and build bridges to Silicone Valley. This think tank would also create a STEM platform to introduce kids to science, math, engineers and technology.

Nipsey knew kids could be more than just rappers too. He understood that need for traditional careers in our communities.

I’m still at a loss that someone so talented and needed could be taken away at the tip of one’s finger. I often wonder if Eric Holder truly understands the disservice and the injustice he has done to the world. I won’t spotlight Mr. Holder but I will say this brother needs counseling and healing as well and I pray he finds redemption at some point in his life. Maybe even give back to brothers filled with the same self hatred, rage and envy in the same manner and bounds that Nipsey gave us hope.

His mother spoke so eloquently of her son and how he appeared after he passed. Her words are comforting. A lot of people are still hurting, me included.

She’s right. He is infinite now, his energy is forever and his bounds are limitless now. I’m hurt because we will never get a chance to watch this brother grow and step even further into his greatness. I can only imagine the excellence he would have accomplished at 50.

mural by IG@occasionalsuperstar

He will never die. He is eternal for his spirit is all around and will carry on.

Then my heart shifts to Lauren. This situation epitomizes black women’s worst fear of her black man, child, brother or friend not making it home.

“I will keep my head high and always represent for my king to the fullest.”

And just as a black woman always does, we remain resilient through the tragedy and our worst fears come true. He poured into her love, understanding and loyalty. I am anxious to see how she will preserve his legacy.

Nipsey and Lauren GQ photo shoot.

The family and the love he leaves behind is palpable, his wife London, his two children, his mother and father and a brother and hosts of community friends and family.

I pray that their family finds solace during this time. But I can say I truly hope that they carry on his legacy and complete the documentary as planned. Complete the works and initiatives he began. It’s too important not to now!

They just don’t know what they’ve done.

His parents did an excellent job of instilling value and self love in him. He understood what it took to truly give back. I hope his memory will be of change and not his tragic death.

I truly hope the celebration of his life will spark a new wave of change and action.

To carry on what he believed.

To step into your greatness.

Collectively.

Together.

You don’t have to be a fan of his music to be a fan of his humanity. He believed in the power of his people and he invested hope into his community.

I know I have been inspired to contribute to my community in any small or big way that I can.

But what I truly hope is that we find a way to not only love ourselves intentionally every single day but the next woman or man that looks just like you. When you truly love yourself, you are capable of sharing and gifting that love to the world.

Asé.

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