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Heartfelt tributes to Nipsey Hussle began rolling in from celebrities around the world immediately after news broke that the West Coast rapper was killed on Sunday, March 31.
Hussle (real name Ermias Asghedom) was shot multiple times in broad daylight outside his Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles before being rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He had recently purchased the shopping complex where Marathon is located as part of an initiative to revitalize and bring jobs to his hometown. He also owned a barbershop, a burger restaurant and a fish market in the area.
The 33-year-old launched his music career more than a decade before his death with a string of mixtapes that he sold locally out of the trunk of his car. Jay-Z once famously purchased 100 copies of Hussle’s 2013 tape, Crenshaw
Hussle released his major-label debut, Victory Lap, in February 2018 and scored a Best Rap Album nomination at this year’s Grammys, ultimately losing to Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy. He boasted about being “self-made” on several of the album’s tracks after years of trying to make a name for himself and doing what he needed to survive, which included joining a street gang as a teenager.
“In our culture, there’s a narrative that says, ‘Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,’” he told the Los Angeles TimesOpens a New Window. in March 2018. “And that’s cool but there should be something that says, ‘Follow Elon Musk, follow [Mark] Zuckerberg.’ I think that with me being influential as an artist and young and coming from the inner city, it makes sense for me to be one of the people that’s waving that flag.”