The Legacy of Nipsey Hussle:
Using Fame To Push Tech & Entrepreneurship
“The only way you’re going to be fulfilled is if you know you gave everything you had…you emptied yourself here, you left it all here, because it’s temporary and you’ve got a moment.”
Born Ermias Davidson Asghedom, the 33-year-old was due to meet with Los Angeles Police Department Commissioner Steve Soboroff and Chief of Police Michel Moore on Monday afternoon. Ermias used his fame from his Grammy-nominated music to help advance social justice issues and entrepreneurship projects in his hometown of South Los Angeles. Last year, Hussle received a Grammy nomination for his debut album Victory Lap, losing the Best Rap Album award to Cardi B. He had timed the album’s February 2018 release to coincidence with his opening Vector90, a coworking space and STEM training center — where people learn coding and other tech skills — he had launched in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles.
Hussle had been a member of Rollin 60’s, part of the infamous Crips gang, as a teen — his death is being investigated as a gang-related homicide — but encouraged other young people from his neighbourhood to look toward technology and entrepreneurship as a way forward.
“Growing up as a kid, I was looking for somebody — not to give me anything — but somebody that cared,” Hussle told the LA Times in 2018 in an interview about the business. “Someone that was creating the potential for change and that had an agenda outside of their own self-interests.”
Vector90 is specifically aimed at providing space and training for kids from South Central LA to learn and connect them with Silicon Valley. Hussle said he was concerned about the low numbers of black people at major tech companies.
“In our culture, there’s a narrative that says, ‘Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers, and that’s cool but there should be something that says, ‘Follow Elon Musk, follow Mark Zuckerberg.’ I think that with me being influential as an artist and young and coming from the inner city, it makes sense for me to be one of the people that’s waving that flag.”
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He gave everything he had…rest in power King. As we all mourn, let us all remember his children and family. While the world has lost an incredible loving leader, his family lost their father, son, brother, their hope…May they receive the love and comfort they need not just during this time but forever.
Hussle released over a dozen mixtapes but Victory Lap was the first album released through a major label, and was regarded as one of the best hip-hop albums of 2018. His music was known for his gritty and raw lyrics, amplifying issues and causes such as gun violence, education, and abuse. For his mixtape Crenshaw in 2013, he only printed 1,000 physical copies and then sold them each for $100 — Jay-Z reportedly bought 100 of them. He did a similar thing for 2015’s Mailbox Money, offering 100 copies for $1,000 each.
A young Hussle giving an interview where he spoke about his interest in investing in real estate and other things that would appreciate in value:
In February, the rapper had bought the entire strip mall and had planned to turn it into a mixed-use condo development with restaurants and other retail stores. He already ran a barbershop and fish restaurant on the block. Hussle met engineer Iddris Sandu, then 20, in 2017 at a Starbucks.
The pair opened Marathon Clothing together, the world’s first “smart store,” with an app where people could download exclusive music and content:
Nipsey to me was what jay-z was to Ye ; giving him the chain of authenticity.
so just imagine what I’m going through right now.
having worked with him to build his store,
travelling the world with him,
and spending alot of time with him.
rest in eternal power hussle the 🐐 pic.twitter.com/yXlgAUt9RT
— iddris sandu (@iddris_sandu) April 1, 2019
Nipsey Hussle opening the first official The Marathon Clothing flagship store on Slauson Ave Los Angeles:
In the world Nipsey was crafting, there was space for more than just him to prosper. Although Victory Lap was his first mainstream release — it even nabbed a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album — and it resonated so much with his audience because of his drive and visceral account of his evolution from gang member to Crenshaw philanthropist. With the massive success of this album, in many ways, we did give Nipsey his flowers while he was here.
In this case, there’s a glimpse of peace in having witnessed how many people loved, valued, and appreciated Nipsey when he reigned on earth. Even though he had so many plans, he did what he was sent here to do: “Hussle & Motivate.” 🏁🏁🏁