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Nipsey Hussle: Activist, entrepeneur, philanthropist

Community mourns senseless murder

Gregg Reese OW Contributor | 4/5/2019, midnight
“The work ain’t done yet. The marathon continues.”–from “For the Culture,” an Oct. 2018 article in the Player’s Tribute by ...

“The work ain’t done yet. The marathon continues.”–from “For the Culture,” an Oct. 2018 article in the Player’s Tribute by Nipsey Hussle.

Condolences to all who knew or crossed paths with the deceased lyricist Nipsey Hussle, and may his soul rest in power. By now, his tragedy has been covered in nearly every conceivable medium and communication, so in this particular piece we will try to start at the beginning (all quotes attributed to Nipsey Hussle unless otherwise noted).

Setting the stage

"Don't do the crime…”

“Gangbanging is a survival instinct, regardless of how anybody tries to paint it.”

A year ago, a gang meeting was held to iron out a reoccurring problem “in the life:” police informants. Criminal activities were being compromised to the point where it was apparent that information was being leaked. The situation had gotten to the point where it was apparent that more then “good detective work” was involved. The only other solution meant that “snitches (slum parlance for folks who provide information on their peers to the police, so that their own illicit activities may be overlooked)” were involved.

In due course, a series of executions were committed to eliminate the suspected snitches. People who become “snitches” get “busted,” then are encouraged by the cops and the District Attorney to give them criminally related information. They, in turn, are given reduced sentences. Thusly, anyone who commits a crime, and then is back on the street after an uncommonly short time is naturally viewed with suspicion by their peers. One such individual, known within his “cliché” as “Sh*tty Cuz,” fell into this category. He’d previously been a regular at the hub of Nipsey Hussle’s business empire, Marathon Clothing Company at Slauson Avenue near Crenshaw Boulevard. This arrangement was part of Hussle’s personal business model of inclusion to ‘buy back the block’ and provide employment in the process.

This individual had been banned from the store after he’d acquired a reputation as a “snitch.” For young men of the street, whose “street cred (acceptability and respect among young Black urbanites)” is the most tangible asset they possess, this insult is too much to bear. As for Hussle, who’d long abandoned the poisonous parts of gangbanging,yet maintained his connection to the streets, would not be willing to be associated with anyone of this ink. People who come under suspicion can get back into their friend’s good graces by producing their court documents. Someone who has struck up a bargain with the authorities will these conditions in writing on their personal paperwork.

In such situations, the record will say so, often using words to let the judge know they have “cooperated,” and are due favorable treatment from the court. In essence, folks embrace these conditions because “they can’t do the time.”Those who have not cooperated can produce documents without these incriminating works, or passages “redacted (passages blocked out with black marker), which show no assistance to authorities has taken place. Allegedly, Nipsey Hussle gave Sh*tty Cuz the option of producing these court documents to get back within his good graces, and regain his right to “kick it with the homies.”