When the initial news broke about Nipsey Hussle getting shot I was with my sister and niece. Within minutes there was a headline announcing that he has passed. I immediately thought of Lauren London. I immediately thought of his children. I immediately thought of my friends.
I’m not going to sit here and act like I knew all of his music or even listened to it regularly. However, I knew what he meant to the community. Nipsey Hussle grew up in Los Angeles, and he used his fame to give back. He bought a strip mall near where he grew up in hopes of revitalizing the neighboorhood. The strip mall is the same place where he was gunned down. He was shot six times right in front of his clothing store, Marathon Clothing. He also was involved with STEM a program for inner-city kids.
As my sister and I were discussing what just happened, my six-year-old niece was sitting in the middle of us, ears open. Most six-year-olds can understand death. My niece is trying to follow along with this adult conversation, and eventually, she gets sad. She lays her head into the pillow and her face drops. We ultimately decided to stop talking about it in front of her. She told us, “death makes me sad.” So imagine the conversation Lauren will have to have with their children.
So at this moment, I think about Lauren and that difficult conversation. I think about my father who died of cancer when I was eleven. I think about how I wish my dad were still around. I think about Lauren losing her partner. It was clear to the world that they were in love. I am filled with sorrow because Lauren never thought she would lose her partner so early in life.
I am filled with anger because my friends now have to mourn Nipsey. Many of them feel as if they have lost a family member. The empathy I have is deep, and I truly feel your pain.
His life was cut short at 33 due to jealousy. Many people think it was gang-related, but it wasn’t — just a senseless act of jealousy. Life is short but as Nipsey says, “The marathon continues.” He was a father, husband, rapper and last but not least a leader in his community.