Community mourns for Nipsey Hussle

Nick Campbell, @nicky_charles

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Anyone familiar with the hip hop music genre understands the community aspect of it. Since its founding roots, hip-hop music and its fan base have always been connected at the hip. When one of its great performers dies, particularly in tragedy, it hits the community hard. With the recent murder of Nipsey Hussle, the hip-hop community is forced to mourn his death and ponder its impact on the genre and even the city of Los Angeles. Much of the discussions on social media are typical and cliche as you might expect.

They range from judgement about his former ties to the infamous Rolling 60’s Crips gang, all the way to conspiracy theories about possible assassination by the pharmaceutical lobby. He was expected to release a documentary on the controversial holistic herbalist, Dr. Sebi, who once claimed he had a cure to HIV/AIDS. That’s unconfirmed, but one thing is for certain is that his former gang ties are well known. However, as in the case of many people in this country, he underwent a transformation from a former gang member to hip-hop stardom and a notable entrepreneur. He recently purchased the shopping plaza where his clothing store “Marathon Clothing” was located.

Hussle launched a STEM program for kids in the inner city named “Too big to fail” and invested in various projects in South Central Los Angeles, his hometown. Often employing many former gang members either fresh out of prison or from the neighborhood. To dismiss that by laser focusing on his former gang ties is rooted is a type of microaggression that the hip hop community knows all too well.

As the music industry with many in the sports, entertainment and even political worlds publicly express condolences, a massive memorial is planned for Thursday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. America usually loves a good comeback story or rags to riches story. As the case when a great person is taken too soon, we’ll never know what other great impacts he could have made on his community.

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