He’s “Been Down”
Ermias Asghedom was lovingly known around his community and on stage as #NipseyHussle. Hussle was born August 15, 1985, and was raised in the Crenshaw and Slauson neighborhood of South Los Angeles. Growing up, he attended Hamilton High School in the Castle Heights neighborhood and was greatly influenced musically by #SnoopDogg and #IceT. After high school, he took classes briefly at community college before pursuing his hip hop career fulltime.
His Music Took “Dedication”
In 2005, Nipsey released his first mixtape, “Slauson Boy Volume 1.” He then signed a record deal with Cinematic Music Group and Epic Records in 2008. From that partnership, Nipsey birthed the first two volumes of his trio mixtape “Bullets Aint Got No Name.” Nipsey released his debut single “Hussle in the House” in 2009 and was able to drop volume 3 of his mixtape. His career drew in widespread attention, which led to collaborations with #SnoopDogg, #Problem, #Drake and more. In 2010, Nip was nominated by XXL Magazine as one of the Annual Freshman Top Ten and received much praise from LA Weekly.
Unfortunately, Nipsey was unable to release what would have been his debut studio album, ”South Central State of Mind,” as it was postponed and he was suffering from difficulties with his current label. Both parties eventually separated. Nipsey then started his own label, All Money In, and released two mixtapes: “The Marathon” and “The Marathon Continues.” Nipsey continued to create his own unique sound, and in 2013 he released his breakthrough mixtape ”Crenshaw,” which landed him in the top 40 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. In 2016, he came back onto the scene with his controversial track called “FDT.” After 13 years of several mixtapes, Nipsey finally released his debut studio album “Victory Lap” on February 16, 2018, for which he was nominated for a Grammy for “Best Rap Album.” His single “Last Time That I Checc’d” garnered over three million views in just days after being posted. In total, Nipsey had 12 mixtapes, two compilation albums, 48 singles, and one studio album.
His Plans Were To “Hussle And Motivate”
The Eritrean-American was huge on community and uplifting Black culture and its people. Outside of the rap arena, Nipsey was a philanthropist and businessman. Nip went from hustling drugs on the corners of Slauson to owning his own clothing store in the very same area called The Marathon Clothing, where he hired people from his neighborhood. He wasn’t finished; Nipsey also opened Vector90, a shared workspace for South Los Angeles natives, and STEM center that works to give the youth an area where they can groom their entrepreneurial dreams. In addition, he created and profited from his own marijuana strain “Marathon OG.” He also worked with City Council officials to build local businesses and assist new creatives. Nipsey was adamant about building generational wealth, buying back his community and promoting Black culture and history. His love for knowledge and Black history inspired his move to make a documentary about Dr. Sebi. Alfredo Bowman, well-known for his name Dr. Sebi, was an all-natural herbalist and self-healer who claimed to have the cure to all diseases in herbs and a unique diet based on various pseudoscience claims.
His Legacy: “The Marathon Continues”
Hussle was 33 years when the Lord called him home. He leaves behind his longtime love Lauren London and two children, Kross Asghedom and Emani Asghedom. Hussle was in a five-year relationship with London, who is an actress and model. Their relationship started back in 2013 when London wanted to buy Nipsey’s limited edition mixtape as a wrap present for her co-stars on the BET series “The Game.” At the time, Nipsey sold 1,000 copies of “Crenshaw” for $100 each. Jay-Z purchased 100 copies. The next year, Hussle made 100 hard copies of his mixtape “Mailbox Money” and sold 60 for $1,000 each. London received the mixtapes from Nipsey, and the two began following each other on Instagram. The two recently shared their love story with GQ in magazine spread called “California Love.”
We will remember Nip through his love, passion, and activism. Because the last time that we checc’d his spirit and message still lives on.
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