Nipsey Hussle death: Grammy-nominated rapper shot dead outside LA store, aged 33

Fellow musicians Nas, Rihanna and J Cole are among those paying tribute

Roisin O'Connor
Music Corresponent
Monday 01 April 2019 08:30
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Rapper Nipsey Hussle shot dead aged 33

Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle has died after being shot outside his clothing store in Los Angeles. He was 33.

Police said three men were shot Sunday and one of them killed outside Marathon Clothing, the store Hussle owns. The other two men are reportedly in stable condition.

The Los Angeles Crisis Response team said “we lost a great musician”. Support has been offered to Hussle’s family.

“Our prayers are with them and all those who knew and loved Nipsey Hussle,” the crisis team said.

The news has caused shockwaves among the music community. Rapper J Cole tweeted: “Nipsey you a legend. I respect and admire your career path and what you did for the neighborhood. My heart broke today when I saw the news. I’m praying for your loved ones. This was sposed to be the year we got one in. God had bigger plans for you.”

“This doesn’t make any sense!” Rihanna tweeted. “My spirit is shaken by this! Dear God may His spirit Rest In Peace and May You grant divine comfort to all his loved ones! I’m so sorry this happened to you.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted his condolences: “Our hearts are with the loved ones of Nipsey Hussle and everyone touched by this awful tragedy. L.A. is hurt deeply each time a young life is lost to senseless gun violence,” Garcetti tweeted. “My Crisis Response Team is assisting the families coping with shock and grief.”

Hussle was born Ermias Asghedom on 15 August 1985, in the Crenshaw neighbourhood of south Los Angeles.

The Eritrean-American said his first passion was music but finding a way into the industry was tough since he left his mother’s house at 14, to live with his grandmother. Hussle said he got involved in street life as he tried to support himself, and he joined the gang Rollin 60′s Neighborhood Crips as a teenager.

“The culture of my area is the gang culture ... so by being outside, being involved with hustling, being in the hood, doing things to try to get money, being young, you know riding your bike through the hood, getting shot at, your loved ones and homies that’s your age getting killed, getting shot at ... it’s like, we were just raised like if you with me and something goes now, I’m in it, whether I’m from the (expletive) or not,” he said in a 2014 interview with VladTV.

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“So after a while it just be like you always in the middle of some (expletive), you might as well, you know what I mean ... be part of it. Or don’t be a part of it and get the (expletive) out the way.”

He went to considerable efforts to give back to his community and support local youth projects, including an investment in Vector 90, a co-working space in South Central LA for entrepreneurs and place for young people to take classes in STEM. Hussle was scheduled to meet with police commissioners in LA the day after he was shot, to discuss ways to stop gang violence.

Hussle, who was once signed to Sony’s Epic Records, had a breakthrough with Victory Lap, his critically acclaimed major-label debut album on Atlantic Records. The album appeared on several "best of" lists including Complex and Billboard.

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The album featured collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Diddy and more, and debuted at number four on the Billboard 200. It was one of five nominees at this year’s Grammy Awards in the Best Rap Album category, alongside winner Cardi B, Travis Scott, Pusha T, and the late Mac Miller.

“It’s my debut album so for my first one (to be nominated) out the gate, it’s like, it was overwhelming a little bit. It was ... inspiring, humbling,” he said in an interview with the Recording Academy on the 2019 Grammys red carpet.

Hussle attended the Grammys with his daughter. The rapper was engaged to actress Lauren London.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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