by Daniel O’Neill ’21 A&E Staff
On Sunday, March 31, 2019, prolific rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed outside of his clothing store in Los Angeles. Many fans around the United States are stunned by his death.
His family and loved ones have spoken out about his influence on the music world and how shocking his death truly is. According to the Los Angeles Times, the rapper’s mother Angelique Smith said, “I would like for him to be remembered as a humble, spirited, respectful man who had, since his childhood, an extraordinary and unlimited intellectual capacity.” To many people, Nipsey Hussle’s music spoke about the problems that they face in everyday life, something that makes his death especially hard to deal with.
Nipsey Hussle spent the latter part of his career as a rapper fighting to end gang violence and other issues in his home of Los Angeles. His influence in this regard is something that many people will not soon forget. Through his activism and rallying for his community, he made it clear to those around him that he was fighting a legitimate battle; Nipsey Hussle wanted to make his hometown a place that people could feel safe in.
The rapper spoke on many occasions about his former affiliation with the Rollin 60s, an LA gang affiliated with the Crips. The violence and crime he witnessed as a member of that gang led him to change his own life and help others to better their lives as well. According to Vox, Nipsey was involved in community outreach programs that worked to not only empower, but also to employ people in underprivileged groups. He did so through funding groups that helped to teach real estate investment, creating science and technology learning centers for children and teenagers, and other efforts in southern Los Angeles, where he is originally from.
It is reported that Nipsey Hussle was supposed to attend an anti-gang violence meeting the day that he was shot outside of his storefront, along with two other men. The man who shot the rapper was arrested this past Tuesday by the Los Angeles Police Department. The man’s name is Eric Holder, and he reportedly was in a heated argument outside of Nipsey’s store before the shooting occurred. There are no reports of the murder being related to gang violence at this time.
The death of Nipsey Hussle has boosted the artist’s name in a culture of mainstream hits in music. Many people who had never before heard his name now recognize his name, sadly, because of his death. His songs on many platforms are getting more exposure because of this. This is a time for many to mourn the death of an influential figure and the fact that his songs regarding all of the problems he worked to fight against are getting more popular only shows that his message is finally getting across. Nipsey Hussle’s death symbolizes that all of the pain and hard work put into his work is finally paying off. His powerful lyrics and activism will still live on after his untimely death.