Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle shot and killed at 33
LOS ANGELES — Rapper Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot outside the clothing store he founded to help rebuild his troubled South Los Angeles neighborhood, police said, cutting short a career that earned him a Grammy nomination this year for his major-label debut. He was 33.
Police said Hussle was one of three men shot Sunday outside Marathon Clothing, his store in South Los Angeles; the other two were in stable condition. A large crowd gathered outside the store as night fell. Detectives were canvassing the area for witnesses and looking to see if any surveillance video captured the shooting, police Lt. Chris Ramirez said.
Mayor Eric Garcetti was among the many people expressing 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, who had two children and was engaged to actress Lauren London, was an Eritrean-American whose real name was Ermias Asghedom.
"This doesn't make any sense! My spirit is shaken by this!," Rihanna wrote while posting photos of Hussle with his daughter and another with his fiance. "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 @nipseyhussle."
Hussle was born on Aug. 15, 1985, in the same Crenshaw neighborhood where he died, and where he had been working to provide youths with alternatives to the hustling he did when he was younger.
Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff tweeted that he and Police Chief Michael Moore had agreed with Hussle to meet with him and representatives of Roc Nation, Jay-Z's entertainment agency and production company, on Monday to "talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids."
Hussle explained where he was coming from in a Los Angeles Times interview last year: "In our culture, there's a narrative that says, 'Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,'" he said. "And that's cool, but there should be something that says, 'Follow Elon Musk, follow (Mark) Zuckerberg.'
Hussle said his first passion was music but getting resources was tough after leaving 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," he explained in a 2014 interview with VladTV. "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."
Music eventually happened for Hussle. He released a number of successful mixtapes that he sold out of the trunk of his car, helping him create a buzz and gain respect from rap purists and his peers. In 2010 he placed on hip-hop magazine XXL's "Freshman Class of 2010" — a coveted list for up-and-coming hip-hop acts — alongside J. Cole Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Jay Rock and others.