Rapper Nipsey Hussle shot dead in Los Angeles; crowd gathers at his clothing store

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Rapper Nipsey Hussle, an entrepreneur and rising musician who earned his first Grammy nomination last year, died after being shot outside one of his businesses in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon, officials said.

He was 33 years old. He is survived by his two children and his girlfriend, Lauren London, according to the tabloid entertainment site TMZ.

Related: Fans, celebrities react to the death of rapper Nipsey Hussle

The Hollywood Reporter reported his death, which was confirmed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, sparked “shock, outrage among music and Hollywood stars.”

Musician Pharrell Williams commented in a tweet: “You were about something..positive and for your community in every chance you had to speak..and because of that You inspired millions..millions who will uphold your legacy forever.”

“This is more than just another dead rapper,” said Sean Borrard, a longtime fan who said he was nearly brought to tears when he heard the news that Hussle had died. “In the rap world, he was a leader.”

  • A Los Angeles Police officer walks under a yellow tape by the Marathon Clothing store of rapper Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • Police investigators gather around the Marathon Clothing store of rapper Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

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  • A Los Angeles Police officer walks past the taped Marathon Clothing store of Rapper Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • People gather near the Marathon Clothing store of rapper Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • People set candles behind police yellow tape next to the Marathon Clothing store of rapper Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)



Hussle was one of three men shot outside Hussle’s clothing store, Marathon Clothing Company, in South Los Angeles, according to authorities and media reports. Initial reports from the Los Angeles police and fire departments said the two wounded men were in hospitalized in stable condition. The Los Angeles Police Department said it believed one shooter, a male who fled, was responsible. Investigators were interviewing witnesses in the Hyde Park neighborhood.

A motive for the shooting was unknown. No suspect description was immediately available.

The shooting happened about 3:20 p.m. in the 3400 block of Slauson Avenue, near the intersection with Victoria Avenue and near Crenshaw Boulevard, authorities said.

Sunday evening, crowds gathered there.

Hussle, whose real name is Ermias Asghedom, is from L.A.’s Crenshaw neighborhood and has worked on music with members of both the Crips and Blood gangs, TMZ reported.

Last year, Hussle was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album for “Victory Lap,” his first full-length album. That category was won by Cardi B for “Invasion of Privacy.”

His biggest hits included “The Life” with Snoop Dogg and “They Roll” with The Game. Hussle’s star had been rising, particularly on major music festivals. He played Rolling Loud in Los Angeles in December and was also on the bill for Once Upon a Time in the LBC this summer.

As described by the Recording Academy, Hussle was known for his humor and took his stage name from a twist on comedian Nipsey Russell.

“A West Coast classic who got started in 2005, his own way of doing things consistently stands out, for example pricing his 2013 mixtape Crenshaw at $100 each,” the Grammy website says.

Earlier in his career, Hussle had some brushes with the law. He was booked on suspicion of drug possession in Burbank in 2015, was accused of obstructing an officer at his clothing store on West Slauson Avenue in 2014 and was accused of brandishing a handgun in 2013 during a protest over the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in a Florida case that gained national notoriety.

A 2013 story by City News Service said Hussle’s work up to that point included the mixtape series “Bullets Ain’t Got No Name” and “The Marathon.”

Several sources reported that about an hour before he was shot, Hussle tweeted: “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”

Hussle went on to help develop Destination Crenshaw, described as a 1.3 mile-outdoor art and culture experience celebrating black Los Angeles.

“Hussle owns and operates businesses on the Crenshaw-Slauson corridor, including the legendary Black-owned hamburger chain, Fatburger, and his flagship The Marathon Clothing Store, one of the most successful streetwear companies in the West Coast,” according to Destination Crenshaw.

Fan and nearby resident Kenneth Hicks, 23, said Marathon Clothing was “monumental to the city.”

He said Hussle “was about black entrepreneurship. Get money for real, that’s what he was trying to teach people with this company.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said Hussle “was a father, businessman, entertainer, and inspiration to many. We mourn his sudden and tragic passing and send his family our deepest condolences.”

“As South Los Angeles’ representative on the Board of Supervisors, I urge calm and a period of reflection. Violent retaliation for this event will not be tolerated. Our communities have lost too many young men and bright futures to the scourge of gun violence. For healing to occur, even from this terrible incident, justice must be sought through legal means, and community peace must be found,” Ridley-Thomas said in a statement. “I am in contact with law enforcement officials who will provide all the necessary assistance, and I ask members of the public to come forward with any information related to this incident or any emerging retaliatory response.”

City News Service and the Daily News staff contributed to this story.