5 things to know about Nipsey Hussle

by in News

The life of rapper Nipsey Hussle will be celebrated Thursday in a massive event at Staples Center and a procession through the South L.A. neighborhoods where he grew up.

Here’s five things to know about the rapper turned businessman and philanthropist.

He grew up in Crenshaw. He also never left.

Hussle was born Ermias Joseph Asghedom. He and his two siblings grew up in Crenshaw, the South L.A. neighborhood with Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue as its main arteries. He attended Hamilton High School in nearby Castle Heights, but dropped out to pursue music.

His stage name is a play on Nipsey Russle, a black comedian who was a popular face on television talk and game shows for decades.

Even after he experienced success as a rapper, Hussle never stopped living in Crenshaw. He was a familiar face to many in the area, often appearing at events at schools and at his own businesses.

He was a member of the Rolling 60s Crips

Hussle spoke openly about his association with the biggest gang in the Crenshaw area, the Rollin’ 60s Crips.

Before his death, he attempted to work with police and city leaders to reduce gang violence in South Los Angeles. He emailed LAPD Chief Michel Moore and police commission President Steve Soboroff requesting a meeting to ask how they could partner together to keep local children from getting involved in gang life. He was killed the day before that meeting was scheduled to be held.

He wasn’t just a musician — he was a burgeoning mogul

Hussle scored his first big claim to fame selling mixtapes out of his truck in the parking lot of the strip mall he would later own. But what drew just as much attention to him was the business strategy he used — he sold just 1,000 copies of his debut mixtape for $100. He sold 100 copies of a followup mixtape for $1,000.

He sold all of the first mixtape. He sold most of the second. Both were offered online for free.

He invested in local real estate

Hussle also was known for investing back in Crenshaw. He owned the strip mall where he was shot — besides The Marathon clothing store, which he opened a few years ago, Hussle also owned two restaurants and a barbershop in the development. Earlier this year, he and another investor bought the property outright.

Hussle told Forbes magazine that his plan was to tear down the building, and in its place build a residential development with retail on the first floor. The property is located steps from where a Metro rail station is being built.

He was nominated for a Grammy this year

Hussle released his first and only full-length album, “Victory Lap,” in February 2018 to critical acclaim. Almost exactly one year later, he was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2019 Grammys.

The album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 100 after its initial release. After his death, the album peaked again at No. 2.