Nipsey Tha Great
On March 31, 2019, Ermias Ashgedom aka Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in front of the same store he started his career selling cds out of his trunk. He more recently was part owner of the actual building itself and inspired growth and evolution from the bottom of streets to the top of the charts. Los Angeles lost one of its Kings and the culture was flooded with sadness on this tragic day.
This has been heavy on my heart as a fan not only of his music, but his visionary genius and contribution to his legacy and community. It bothers me more that a real one has been taken from his family, a son from his parents, a father from his children, a man from his woman.
What gave me hope was the celebration of a man much bigger than music. How seemingly the world came together in unity and peaceful vigils were held in different parts of the world. An inspiring performance by Russell Westbrook in his historic night recording a triple double with 20 + 20 + 20 in dedication to his friend Nipsey and what he represents in the gang culture. The peace treaties between gangs in Los Angeles. The outpouring of love and reception from The Marathon Clothing Store to The Staples Center. The beautiful words shared by so many celebrities and family members can only be said for a few rare people that walk this earth. All of this for Nipsey Hussle.
When Tupac said, “I’m not going to change the world, but I guarantee I will spark the brain that will change the world.” There is no doubt in my mind his prophetic words were describing Nipsey Hussle.
Nipsey got me, and so many others, through trying times in stages of my life. Here are some of my favorite lyrics that gave me words of encouragement to keep running towards my victory lap:
“Demonstration speaks loud, so I ain’t saying much.”
Crenshaw & Slauson by Nipsey Hussle
Nipsey was inspiring more so through his moves than his mouth. He took initiative in constantly seeking knowledge, financial freedom, independence, and ownership.
“Dedication, hard work plus patience
The sum of all my sacrifice, I’m done waitin’
I’m done waitin’, told you that I wasn’t playin’
Now you hear what I been sayin’, dedication”
Dedication by Nipsey Hussle featuring Kendrick Lamar
It’s no secret that Nip grinded for a long time and we were all seeing it pay off. One of his best moments as an artist was his debut album being nominated for a Grammy in 2018.
“Regardless what you into, regardless what you’ve been through
I feel like I’ve got to tell you you’ve got something to contribute…”
Face the World by Nipsey Hussle
His voice spoke to so many people. Hearing this at a certain time in your life inspired you to Hussle and Motivate. It got me to believe in myself and believe there was more I can give to the world.
“Victory to me is when you spend your time right
Victory to me is when you get your grind right
Victory to me is when you get your moms right”
Face the World by Nipsey Hussle
An accomplishment in all facets of life was important to Nipsey. He truly understood the value of time, enjoyed the fruits of his labor with his work, and achieved every young man’s dream of taking care of his mother. Victory indeed.
“Ain’t no excuse for my failures,
My success no apologies
All that I own
Keep it 100
But that’s what they all say”
Drop Coupes by Nipsey Hussle
What I loved about Nipsey’s lyrics were the authenticity. He really rapped how he spoke, and you can feel the raw words and their power. There isn’t any anyone to blame for your failures, nothing to be sorry for in your success. Everyone says they’re honest, but real ones show rather than tell.
“And I come through fly, no co-sign
I ain’t need radio to do mine, I done fine”
Last Time That I Checc’d by Nipsey Hussle
Independence learned from those before him. Jay-Z, Master P, and Diddy were some of the rappers turned moguls that took the independent route rather than signing to a major label. Instead of just trying to make “a hit,” Nipsey did it his way on his terms. How fitting was it at his memorial the song chosen in his video collage was “My Way” by Frank Sinatra.
I could go on and on with the lyrics that mean the world to me so many people. But this man was much bigger than music. His life was celebrated at The Staples Center in front of a sold out 21,000 + in attendance, received a personalized public letter directly from the office of Barack Obama, Honored by NBA Athletes, Dedicated with a huge mural at Crete Academy and Venice Ball, and in the same exact place Nipsey “Hussled” on the intersection of Crenshaw and Slauson, the LA City Council voted unanimously to name the territory as “Nipsey Hussle Square.”
“The highest human act is to inspire…”R.I.P. Nipsey Hussle
The Marathon Continues… through all of us, because of you!