We haven’t felt anything this deep since the deaths of 2Pac, Biggie, and Jam Master Jay. We’ve lost Rappers to gun violence since then but they didn’t hit us like the homicide of Brother Nipsey. XXXtentacion’s death did not reverberate across the world and Mac Miller’s death was a hard pill to swallow but neither pales in comparison. We are our own worst enemy. The public opinions surrounding the death of the late Ermias Joseph Asghedom better known as Nipsey Hussle have been many. All of those opinions and diatribes mad us look irrational, ignorant, and crazy. Crazy is the plan. Apparently Eric didn’t meet the criteria for any mental illness because he is being held in solitary confinement until he is transferred to LA County jail. What we know for sure in the Hip Hop community is that a great lawyer speaks volumes and Chris Darden representing Eric Holder, who clearly cannot afford Mr. Darden’s services, lets me know that this will be a long and drawn out process. For my young people who don’t know who Chris Darden is, do your research because he could win at trial. For him to plead not guilty is insane, pun intended. We created the monster that became Eric Holder. We created the environment that took Brother Nipsey away.

Championing ignorance, violence, drugs, sex, and money is what Eric Holder thought was right. That’s what was on his social media timelines, that’s the type of music he listened to, and the type of women he interacted with. Why even try to get a job when you can sell drugs and make the same amount of money as an entry-level worker at some warehouse or tech company? All Eric wanted was that blue uniform. He probably joined a gang for clout but I can’t speak on his reasons objectively because I don’t know him personally. As a young man living in LA he probably felt like a hood celebrity himself when he waved that blue flag. When you have so many that made it out of that lifestyle and into the music industry you can see a trajectory but whether or not you’ll get on it is based on each person’s own mindset. At the age of 33 Nipsey isn’t that much older than Eric who is 29 years old. It is common knowledge to understand that things could always be worse. Eric is that personified.

Nipsey grew into a business man, a family man, a musician, and an entrepreneur. Eric was the antithesis of all those things. While Nipsey was “woke”, Eric was in a deep sleep. I’m sure they crossed paths and exchanged words prior to that moment in time on Sunday. Neither was free from the pressure of “keeping it real.” Nipsey would not be revered had he made his money and left Slauson and Crenshaw. Nipsey would not be revered had he not been so charismatic, witty, or sociable. Eric was not revered but, feared because of his history with violence. If Nipsey didn’t feel compelled to stay close to his hometown that Marathon Clothing Store would not be there. If Eric did not feel compelled by the street code to handle himself in a certain manner he would not have acted in the manner in which he did. They both kept it real because of us. What young person seeing this is even thinking about doing what Nipsey did out of fear of being killed, robbed, stabbed, or assaulted? No one grows up wanting to be a martyr for the revolution. The universe makes those decisions but, the universe also gives us these moments in time where we’re supposed to learn and take something from it. The only thing stopping us is us.

“Done seen too many real players fall.” – 2Pac (Against All Odds)

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