It feels very weird that I’m even sitting here writing this. I tossed and turned all night, wondering what kind of sick April Fool’s joke this must be. I thought maybe the next time I wrote about Nipsey Hussle would be after watching his documentary about Dr. Sebi, or after his joint album with Meek Mill dropped in the summer, or maybe after I had the chance to style him for an event/shoot and post the pictures since he’s one my favorite, most influential artists in the industry. But sadly, I’m now scrolling through my social media and I just don’t want to believe any of what I’m seeing. I kept hoping maybe this is just a nightmare and I’ll wake up and none of this will be true; unfortunately, this is our reality and we really lost a truly amazing person yesterday.
At the young age of 33, Nipsey’s life was senselessly taken away from his children, his lady, his family, friends, and all his millions of fans around the world right in front of his Marathon Clothing store in South Central LA. When speaking about Nipsey, you can’t only mention music. Don’t get me wrong, his music is everything and more. I listen to him every single day, multiple times a day, especially “Mailbox Money” and “Victory Lap”. He’s forever talking about real things that a lot of black people can relate to. His purpose was so much bigger than just that. He was a philanthropist, artist, and businessman. Life isn’t fair and things happen for reasons we may never understand but this one right here, I really can’t wrap my head around.
I can remember hearing bits and pieces of Nipsey’s mixtape “The Marathon” while I was in high school but was reintroduced to his music when I heard the song “4 in the Mornin” off his mixtape “Crenshaw”. Whew, that song still gets played through my speakers on a regular basis! The first to do anything so bold, this was the mixtape where there was only a limited number of copies, 1,000 to exact, selling for $100 each. In Nipsey’s song “Count up That Loot”, which is one of my top three favorite songs off his mixtape following “Crenshaw”, titled “Mailbox Money”, he says…
“They paid $100 for my tape and it was f*ckin’ worth it…s/o to Wendy Williams cus she helped it surface, s/o my nigga Jigga cus he made that purchase, s/o my nigga Sway, my nigga B.Dot, Whoo Kidd, sold out the first day we had restock.”
Many may have thought Nipsey was crazy for this move but this was just the beginning of seeing how extremely business-minded he really was. As you can see from the lyrics above, Nipsey had a vision and believed in himself to the fullest extent. He had many people behind him, supporting his movements. Jay-Z had known of Nipsey and was impressed by his marketing strategy with his “Crenshaw” mixtape and purchased 100 copies on the day it was released! That’s a real boss ass move for both men.
I’ll forever bring this story up because I was so upset but a week before Nipsey released his first ever studio album, “Victory Lap,’ I noticed Tidal was doing a raffle and giving away two tickets to go to his listening party in LA. Of course, I dropped everything I was doing to enter my name in and hope to win! The morning of, I was sitting at Starbucks across my job, when Tidal emailed me saying I had won! I was ready to call out of work and take that flight but it was also all-star weekend, so the cheapest roundtrip flight to LA was $1,300. I was crushed, devasted, and now even more so because I’ll never get the chance to see him perform live!
Nipsey’s death deeply saddens me for many reasons. One of the biggest is that now two more black children have to grow up and be raised without their father! Both mom and dad play a major role in every child’s development. My heart breaks for these children who now have to think and question, “coulda, shoulda, woulda” if their father was still alive. Also, for Lauren London, his lady, I’m praying so hard for her! I can’t even begin to imagine how she must feel and what’s she’s going through. They always looked like they really enjoyed one another’s company, were super playful, and genuinely loved each other. I was completely obsessed with how amazing their GQ shoot came out and just watched their “Couples Quiz” video on Friday! It was so cute and seemed so natural. I’ve been praying so very hard for her, his children, and the rest of his family.
This isn’t okay, at all. I never thought I’d have such strong feelings towards someone I didn’t know personally’s death but this just isn’t sitting right with my heart. Nipsey was literally doing everything you’re “suppose” to do when you come from poverty, a rough neighborhood, a broken family, and finally, are able to successfully make it out. This man was creating job opportunities for people in his local community and doing kind things for them. I was always quick to watch each and every one of his interviews once they were released. Whenever I listened to him speak in interviews or through his music, I learned something. He was building a bright future for his family, creating generational wealth, and educating myself and so many others on how to maintain wealth, give back to the community, invest, healthy lifestyle, real estate, own your masters, and the list goes on.
Just last year Nipsey helped open a STEM Center and a co-working space in his neighborhood. He also helped redo the playground at one of the local elementary schools. He was for his people and genuinely cared, taking strides to change LA and the world in a positive way. Some are saying this murder was done by the government. Nipsey was in the process of releasing a documentary on Dr. Sebi. Dr. Sebi was a Honduran herbalist who had the cure to cancer and other diseases. Nipsey followed Dr. Sebi’s journey and believed in his practices. The pharmaceutical industry is the largest industry in the US. There’s no way they would want the truth to come out. Also, since Nipsey was affiliated with the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips, people are wondering if his murder was gang-related.
At the end of the day, a man who was doing so much, shedding a positive light on his talents, his neighborhood, and black people, while trying to make a major difference in this world was taken away. I’m devastated, sad, and upset. Our black men just keep getting killed right before our eyes. This shouldn’t have happened and he didn’t deserve this, no one does. I’m praying for his loved ones every chance I get. I’m pretty sure Nipsey would want us all to remember all the gems he dropped for us and boss up! Take on ownership, make our money grow, and go after everything we want in this life. Nipsey’s marathon is complete but let’s continue to keep his vision alive!
Below are some of my favorite interviews/mini-docs with Nipsey.