L.A. Mourns the Loss of Rapper Nipsey Hussle

The 33-year-old Grammy nominee and South L.A. advocate was gunned down in broad daylight on Sunday

As the sun went down on Sunday, candles flickered and flowers accumulated on the sidewalk outside Nipsey Hussle’s Hyde Park store, Marathon Clothing. Hours earlier, at around 3:20 p.m., the Grammy-nominated rapper was gunned down at close range outside the store; two others sustained injuries and 33-year-old Hussle—born Ermias Asghedom—was pronounced dead at the hospital.

As of 7:30 Sunday evening, the LAPD was attempting to locate the suspect, described only as a “male black,” and warned of street closures in the area of Slauson and Crenshaw, where Marathon is located.

Apart from a career in music that included a slew of well-received mixtapes and collaborations with artists including Drake and Snoop Dogg, Hussle was considered a pillar of the Crenshaw community. He’d recently announced he was launching a STEM education center and co-working space called Vector 90 along with real estate Dave Gross, with whom he was also working on a residential complex on the site of the plaza where Marathon currently stands. Last year, he signed on as a community partner in District 8 City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s Destination Crenshaw project, a mile-long outdoor museum that will run along the Metro Crenshaw Line.

Tributes flooded social media on Sunday evening. Local music journalist Jeff Weiss wrote on Twitter, “No one embodies the true spirit of L.A. better than Nipsey. An entrepreneur, bridge builder, spiritual compass and all time West Coast rap great.” Brooklyn-based rapper Talib Kweli wrote, “What a damn tragedy. We have lost another brilliant black man to senseless gun violence. One of my favorite things in the world to do was tell people how much they were sleeping on Nipsey Hussle. He has inspired me so much as an artist.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti also attributed Hussle’s death to “senseless gun violence,” and police chief Michel Moore said the shooting represents “a troubling surge in violence” that saw 26 shootings and 10 homicides over the course of a week.

Hundreds of fans and neighbors gathered outside Hussle’s store last night, chanting the rapper’s name. The last thing he tweeted, just hours before the killing, was “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”

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