Rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed on Sunday, March 31, in a shooting outside of his retail store in Los Angeles. The 33-year-old leaves behind two kids, and longtime girlfriend Lauren London, with whom he recently shared in his first feature in GQ magazine.
Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Davidson Asghedom, succumbed to his wounds after being shot several times on Sunday afternoon outside of his clothing store in the area of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, according to LAPD reports.
The rapper, who earned a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Rap Album” with his first record, “Victory Lap,” is survived by two kids: daughter Emani, 7, whom he shared with an ex-girlfriend and son Kross, 2, from his relationship to Lauren London.
London and Hussle started dating back in 2013. He was her first public boyfriend after she ended her relationship with Lil’ Wayne, with whom she also shares 9-year-old son Cameron Carter.
The couple was recently featured on GQ magazine, where they discussed their “hip-hop fairytale.”
London, better known for her roles in series like “The Game” and “Games People Play,” explained that she started following Hussle on Instagram because she was interested in buying a few copies of his “Crenshaw” mixtape as a present for her co-stars on “The Game.”
At the time, Hussle’s marketing strategy with the mixtape was to sell only 100 copies for $100 each. Suffice to say, the plan was a success, and even Jay-Z bought several copies of the material.
It was Nipsey who “slid” into Lauren’s DMs, and that was the start of a five-year relationship that led the couple to slam engagement rumors in several occasions, share downfalls, success, and most importantly, the birth of their son, whom they keep out of social media for the most part.
Lauren, 34, had to make some sacrifices for the sake of their little family, as Nipsey revealed to GQ:
“Lauren was handpicked by John Singleton to do Snowfall. She read, got the part, shot the pilot...did stunts...this was her dream role. And then she got pregnant with our son. That was a really hard decision for her to make."
However, London was more than clear on what to do. “Do I choose my soul or myself?” she said. “I went with my soul.”
The actress was Nipsey’s biggest supporter.
After he released ten mixtapes over a decade, Hussle finally released his first full album last year, and London couldn’t be prouder of his achievement.
“He's gotten more of a platform to be really clear about his message, because before he was just making rap gang-bang music. But I think he has a purpose in all the raps, and that's coming to light,” she confessed.
Nipsey was known not only as one of the most prolific rappers in the game but also as hustler and businessman.
Aside from his music, he also had several more investments, including a crypto-currency business, a co-working space, a STEM program for inner-city kids, a fish shop, a barbershop, and a clothing store, The Marathon.
Talking to Complex about his business strategy, Hussle explained last month that he wanted to make sure his bills would be paid whether or not he made it big in the competitive music industry.
“Doing music to pay bills is an uncomfortable situation,” he explained. And continued:
“I never wanted to be in that situation. When I was coming out the street, that's why we was hustling; so we didn't have to put so much pressure on the music, like ‘if I don't get this right, I can't eat, or I can't pay the bills.’”
The rapper acquired the mall where his retail shop is located and was planning on building houses above the refurbished commercial properties, to add value to the property.
Nipsey was also thinking long-term when it came to music. “I got an album concept called Exit Strategy, that might be one of my last ones,” he revealed to Complex. And added:
“As an artist, as a brand, as a rapper, as a musician, you know you got a window and a lot of people, even an athlete; they don't have no exit strategy. It's just living in the false reality that it's going to be like this forever. From their lifestyle, the way they spend money, everything. I don't feel comfortable moving like that, so I have an exit strategy.”
After news of Nipsey’s passing broke, dozens of fellow artists hit social media to lament his death and send their messages of support for his family.
“My spirit is shaken by this," Rihanna wrote on Twitter. "Dear God may His spirit Rest In Peace and May You grant divine comfort to all his loved ones! I'm so sorry this happened to you.”
Pharrell Williams mentioned that Hussle was about "something.. positive and for your community in every chance you had to speak.. and because of that You inspire millions.. millions who will uphold your legacy forever."
Jada Pinkett Smith said she was an admirer of his wisdom and continued: “My heart bleeds for all those who love him. Stay strong @laurenlondon. He’s an angel on your shoulder now.”
Nipsey was supposed to meet with LA Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff and LAPD Chief Michael Moore on Monday to discuss ways to stop gang violence, according to Soboroff.
Police still hasn’t made an arrest related to the shooting but said their suspect is a young black male. Two other persons were injured at the scene, but are now stable after getting medical attention.
Rest in peace, Nipsey.
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