Rapper Nipsey Hussle’s untimely death has spurred a peace movement among some of the most notorious Los Angeles gangs, which communities are hopeful will stop the violence that has plagued the city for years. Since the L.A. rapper’s murder by gang member Eric Holder on March 31, Page Six reports that rival gangs have conducted historic sit-downs involving members from over 30 gangs.
It’s not the first time since Hussle’s passing that gangs have been pushed to make peace — Crips-affiliated set Rollin’ 60s and the 8 Trey Gangster Crips reunited outside his The Marathon Clothing store after his death.
“It was one of the best feelings of my whole life, it really was,” said Hussle’s friend Shamond Bennett, who’s part of the Rollin’ 60s with Hussle.
“They welcomed me with open arms. That first handshake, and then them hugs, it’s like it’s real now. It was amazing. It was beautiful.”
The late 33-year-old rapper was known for his contributions to the community he grew up in and was planning to meet with the Los Angeles Police Department to discuss possible ways to stop gang violence just one day after the day of his murder. He also publicly addressed his involvement in Rollin’ 60s, which has been feuding with 8 Trey for decades.
According to ex-gang member Edward Scott, the gang reunion was historical because they finally willingly united on the streets as opposed to forcefully in prison.
But others, including interventionist Darrell Gray, remain wary that the peace will turn into anything long-lasting.
“Forty years of conflict just don’t end overnight.”
Others, like LaTanya Ward of the Black P Stones Bloods, believe that the small steps forward are still progress to be proud of.
“Right now, we just working on community agreements, how we gonna govern our own neighborhoods. I feel very f***ing optimistic.”
Ward added that whether gang members realize it or not, they have lots in common and suggests that Hussle’s focus on unifying members in life will remain even after his death.
“Being killed like that, it’s a common thing for people that come from where we come from.”
As The Guardian reports, Hussle hoped to adopt a local school to transform it and was undertaking the task of redeveloping the strip mall where he was killed. Although many wonder what the late rapper could have accomplished if he were still alive, several people in his neighborhood have come forward to mirror his efforts after his passing.
“I think this is a ‘before this’ and ‘after this’ moment,” said Marqueece Harris-Dawson, a councilman in South L.A.