Nipsey Hussle’s death hit me harder than I expected.
I was in shock for a few days, expecting it all to be a hoax or for him to miraculously recover. I had always been a fan of his music but it was his love for his community (my community) that left his mark on me.
He was a man of the people in every sense of the word. The sense of community he instilled in all of his business and philanthropic ventures made me proud to share space and time with him. I didn’t know him personally, but it was important to me to spend time in the neighborhood in the weeks following his death to see how my community was grieving. What I noticed was a very large divide—people from the neighborhood were seemingly put on display as individuals from all over the country flocked to his store to take selfies for Instagram. Men from the neighborhood stood guard to keep people from getting to riled up but I could feel their discomfort with all these “outsiders” suddenly taking interest in our little part of L.A.
Almost a year later the crowds have sense faded but the grief hasn’t. The weight of his death still hangs in the air every time I pass by his shop.
Photos taken in April 2019 by Alexis Hunley.