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Rest In Power Nipsey Hussle

Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was shot and killed outside his store in South Central LA, Sunday March 31st. His death has left many in shock and disbelief, including myself. I never met the man, but it feels like I lost a family member. He will be missed, but he left us with valuable lessons in how to succeed at your grind.

The first time I heard of Nipsey Hussle was back in 2013 when he did the “Proud To Pay” campaign for his mixtape, ‘Crenshaw’. The tape would be released digitally for free, but he also had hard copies of the tape that you could buy for $100. Personally, I thought he was out of his mind.

Why pay $100 for a hard copy when music was going digital? I couldn’t believe it. I did however respect it, in a world where the norm is to go along with the flow he did his own thing. He caught the attention of Jay-Z himself who bought 100 copies. Hussle ended up selling all the copies he had within the first 24hrs.

Hussle wasn’t your ordinary rapper, he was much more than that. Often black rappers come from the hood with the vision of making enough money to leave it behind. Nipsey’s vision was similar, except he wanted to give back to the Crenshaw district he grew up in. And instead of doing this from afar, he remained in the area.

Nipsey didn’t have a pretty childhood, joining the Rolling 60’s Crips. He often rapped about things he experienced in his music. The struggle to survive, death, and his hustle. Whenever his career grew, you could be sure that he’d be giving back to the community in some way. He started a business and opened up The Marathon Clothing store after buying space in the same plaza he hustled his music out of.

He hired people in the community and ex-felons to work there as well. People who would have little chance to make a living elsewhere. He was also buying other properties in the plaza where the store was located. Planning to take on other ventures, such as food restaurants, a fish market, and a barbershop. He brought shoes for every student at an elementary school and funded the renovation of a playground. When families had to bury their loved ones, Nipsey paid for the funerals.

Nipsey had a slogan that you could hear in interviews and his music, “All money in.” He prioritized the importance of investing in your community over materialistic things. African-American communities are often a harsh place to grow up in as a kid: Low incomes, violence, poor health, things like this are very common in our communities. Nipsey wanted to break that cycle, and in order to do that, change had to take place at the core of our communities, the next generation of youth.

Nipsey Hussle was a inspirational figure, I looked forward to watching interviews he did just to hear what knowledge he would drop. When I listen to his music it always motivates me to achieve greater. Whatever your grind is, your passion, go after it. Give it your best shot and when you make it, put others on game so that they can achieve too. Invest in yourself and your people, I think that’s what Nipsey wanted us to gain from his actions.

And to Nipsey Hussle: you easily could’ve kept your knowledge and wealth to yourself. However, you had a vision that would not only benefit those around you, but those after you. There are many like myself who were inspired by the work you did while here on earth. Your music has gotten me through some tough times, even as I write this. I’m sad that a spirit like yours is gone, however you put us on game and encouraged us to accomplish our purpose. I’ll celebrate your life by achieving my goals, for myself and those around me. Thank you.

“Spoke some things into the universe and they appeared, I say it’s worth it, I won’t say it’s fair. Find your purpose or you wastin’ air.” -Nipsey Hussle

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