*Updated as promised*
I am writing this as the news is breaking. We’ve been doing the Hip Hop Violence series annually for four years now. This year it is a huge loss for the Hip Hop community and the effects will reverberate throughout the streets and on the airwaves. West Coast emcee, Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed outside of his Marathon Clothing store in LA on Sunday afternoon. Two other men were also shot during the incident however, at this time they have not been pronounced deceased. Yet another prominent figure in the Rap music industry is gunned down in the same community that gave them their start. Nipsey Hussle was one of the handful of Emcees that lived the things they rhymed about and garnered the respect of everyone. He was about his business and his relationship with his fiancé, Lauren London, was something a lot of young men and women looked up to. The LAPD does not have the best history with homicide cases involving members of Hip Hop Culture. Little attempts at finding the person responsible for the death of a Black man of Nipsey’s stature usually result in “unsolved” murder mysteries.
The cultivation of conspiracy theories began instantly as Dr. Sebi began to trend online as the news about Nipsey’s death circulated. Conspiracy theories are how our community rationalizes death as there is a history of the government on every level being complicit in murdering anyone who “rises up” as “the messiah” using their power and influence to move us in the direction necessary to fight white supremacy or white privilege if you will. I’m sorry to tell you all that this isn’t that. Nipsey always rapped about real estate, entrepreneurship, and independence but to have the amount of wisdom he had was rare. He saw the future of album sales when he released his Crenshaw mixtape for $100 each. Although, Nipsey was affiliated with the Rollin 60s Crips in LA he was not “active” in the streets. If we get from under that cloud it boils down to jealousy, envy, pride, and most of all EGO! I’m not going to implicate anyone in this space but, by now you’ve seen the photo of the one who the internet holds responsible for the death of our brother. His feelings had to have been hurt by something Nip either did or most likely didn’t do. Someone knows where this man is so would you want them to “snitch”, let Nipsey’s murder case be a long drawn out spectacle for us to dwell on, or street justice that could open up a Pandora’s box of retaliatory murders? Are we going to respect the shooter?
Nipsey Hussle knew that he left his mark on the culture, but I guess the mark he left on the streets is hurtful to some. Some say Pac knew his time was coming to an end but a tweet from Nipsey within hours before the shooting is otherworldly. This is why you shouldn’t wait until you’re an adult or a public figure to involve yourself in gang culture and neither should you, the casual listener. When it goes down are you ready for that? Are you ready for social media to disrespect you in death as they watched surveillance video or video of your loved ones frantically running into the hospital? If something tragic happens the gang affiliation will be a reason for people to dismiss you and everything you’ve built. Nipsey wanted to rest on his laurels and history has shown us that standing up for the bigger picture is never rewarded and the consequence is almost always death. The streets love no one, even if you grew up there. However; when a weak mind has a bruised ego, those enemies will keep killing you into the afterlife.
“Used to be stay safe, now it’s stay dangerous.” – Nipsey Hussle (Dedication)