So, as many of us have heard, Nipsey Hussle was shot to death yesterday in Los Angeles, in front of a storefront he’d opened. I’ve been trying to reconcile how I feel about it. I’m not a super empathetic person by default so I generally don’t feel much when I read about yet another celebrity death but…hmm.
Personally, I don’t feel like I had much of a connection with him before this. I’m a big hip-hop listener so I’ve heard him multiple times before his debut album, Victory Lap, was released, which I bought soon after reading reviews and impressions from friends. I thought it was great, but, as it were, time rolls on, and it sort of fell out of my regular rotation as new music entered it. I started listening to it again that night after I heard of the shooting but before he was confirmed dead. Maybe I knew it was inevitable and I was starting my own little “tribute” of sorts. When the news came out, I remember my heart skipping a beat. Damn, I thought, another promising rap career cut short. More blood on the streets. Another life lost.
And then I started to read more about him. About his investments into his community, about his relationship with Lauren London, about his children. It was then that I realized that we’d lost more than just a promising rapper. We lost a potential beacon in the black community. Someone who rose out of a violent past to become something more, and someone who was giving back, and trying to give others opportunities he didn’t have.
I’m not going to address the conspiracies that have arisen after his death, as anyone who knows me knows how I feel about those. I just wanted to write this to say that, at the end of all this, I’m truly saddened by this loss. It’s just so damn frustrating to read these kinds of stories and wonder what could’ve been. I just hope his message will resonate. Time marches on, but the legacy will endure, as long as we allow.