Nipsey Hussle’s contributions to South Los Angeles are set to become an official part of U.S. history. The Blast reports that Congresswoman Karen Bass plans to enter Hussle’s philanthropic deeds into the U.S. Congressional Record.
Before his murder, the rapper, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, had been well-known for giving back to Crenshaw, the predominantly African-American neighborhood where he grew up. As the Los Angeles Times reports, he established a co-working space and STEM center in the community called Vector 90 in 2017. In an interview, he said that the inspiration to open the building came from wanting to see change in the area that raised him.
“In our culture, there’s a narrative that says, ‘Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,'” he said. “And that’s cool but there should be something that says, ‘Follow Elon Musk, follow [Mark] Zuckerberg.’ I think that with me being influential as an artist, and young, and coming from the inner city, it makes sense for me to be one of the people that’s waving that flag.”
Hussle also ran several businesses at the strip mall where he used to sell his mixtapes out of the trunk of his car, L.A. Taco reports. He was shot and killed in front of one of those businesses, his flagship retail store called The Marathon.
A man named Eric Holder has since been arrested in connection to the killing. CNN reports that he knew Hussle and that surveillance footage shows he and the “Racks in the Middle” rapper argued before the shooting. Reportedly, Hussle and Holder were both associated with a gang called the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips.
While he wasn’t a household name, Hussle was a hero to many in the hip-hop community and beyond. After the news of his death broke, tributes to the slain rapper poured in from celebrities such as Beyonce, Ava Du Vernay, Russell Westbrook, and others.
Westbrook, a basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder who knew Hussle personally, dedicated his 21 assists, 20 rebounds, and 20 points at a game on Tuesday to his fallen friend.
“Twenty plus 20 plus 20,” Westbrook said, as reported by The Ringer. “They know what that means, man, and that’s for my bro.” As The Ringer notes, his stats at that game were a reference to the Rollin 60s neighborhood.
LAPD chief Michel Moore: "I saw the name Nipsey Hussle, and I looked at that again, and I looked at it again, and it was like I could not believe it... This is a voice that was trying to help." pic.twitter.com/qj6AUPFf8g— XXL Magazine (@XXL) April 2, 2019
But the most heartbreaking tribute came from Hussle’s longtime girlfriend and mother of his son, actress Lauren London.
“I am completely lost,” she wrote in the caption of a post on Instagram. “I’m lost without you. We are lost without you babe. I have no words.”