The hip-hop world is mourning the death of rapper Nispey Hussle, who was shot and killed in Los Angeles at the age of 33. Hussle was murdered outside of his streetwear store Marathon Clothing Company on Sunday. There has been an outpouring of support for the Crenshaw artist, who was widely regarded as a community ambassador who was committed to uplifting local residents.
For several years, Hussle had supported initiatives dedicated to rebuilding his neighborhood. His store Marathon Clothing Company provided jobs for the community, and in 2018, he helped open a local co-working space and STEM center called Vector90. Hussle was also working on a forthcoming “open-air museum” dedicated to Crenshaw. As Jeff Weiss writes in his obituary for Complex, “He bought a neighborhood burger restaurant, a fish market, and a barbershop. He donated shoes to every student at 59th Street Elementary School and financed improvements on their playground and basketball courts.” Fans are praising the young rapper for putting in his wealth back into the community that raised him; it’s worth noting that Nipsey’s initiatives had a significant impact on LA’s Hyde Park neighborhood, which has a 30 percent Latino population.
Back in 2016, Nipsey and fellow West Coast rapper YG released the now ubiquitous “Fuck Donald Trump.” In interviews, Hussle spoke out about Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric, citing the president’s comments on immigrants as a particular source of frustration. “Him being so vocal and one-sided on how he feels about Mexican people as far as categorizing [them] as illegal immigrants and that they make no positive contributions to the country [really pissed me off],” he told Billboard in 2016. “Number one, I’m from L.A. so I grew up with Mexican people and number two, I see Mexican people at all my concerts that really support. I felt like they needed somebody to ride for ‘em. Honestly, that was one of the things that really turned me off to Trump aside from me having an assertion that he was just a privileged rich dude that got an out-of-touch view of the world.” The video for “Fuck Donald Trump” reflected this sense of solidarity, with Mexican flags appearing frequently throughout the clip.
Supporters have mourned the loss on social media, and several anecdotes about his interpersonal impact have resurfaced as well. Singer Skye Townsend shared a story on Twitter about Nipsey’s advocacy for Latinos. “A man said something racist about Latinos to my friend at the gym. Nipsey overheard, took off his headphones and jumped in to defend her, corrected his ignorance and spoke about the power of brown people,” she wrote.
The details of Nipsey’s murder are still unknown, but Remezcla will update this post if more information becomes available.