Rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed and two others injured in a shooting in Los Angeles’ Hyde Park neighborhood on Sunday, according to various sources. Hussle, whose birth name is Ermias Asghedom, was 33 years old, according to the Huffington Post.
Police received a call at 3:20 p.m. about the shooting, which took place outside the Grammy-nominated rapper’s store, Marathon Clothing, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department told HuffPost. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed in a tweet that the rapper had been killed.
“Our hearts are with the loved ones of Nipsey Hussle and everyone touched by this awful tragedy,” the mayor tweeted. “L.A. is hurt deeply each time a young life is lost to senseless gun violence.” Shortly before the shooting, Hussle tweeted an ominous message: “Having strong enemies is a blessing.” He is survived by his young son and daughter and his girlfriend Lauren London.
Hussle, whose given name was Ermias Asghedom, grew up in an area of Los Angeles known as the Crenshaw District and began his rap career in 2005. While he was an unsigned artist, Hussle reportedly made $100,000 in 24 hours by selling his mixtape as a CD for $100 each at a pop-up shop in Los Angeles. Though he rose to fame through his numerous mixtape release over a decade, “Victory Lap” became his first full-length studio-produced album in 2018.
In his music, Hussle often rapped about what life was like growing up in South LA, including the violence, poverty and resilience of his community. “I grew up in gang culture,” the rapper told the Los Angeles Times in March 2018.
“We dealt with death, with murder. It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it. I guess they call it post-traumatic stress, when you have people that have been at war for such a long time. I think L.A. suffers from that because it’s not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while.” Hussle also spent a lot of his time giving back to his community in South LA.
Before he released “Victory Lap,” the rapper celebrated the grand opening of a co-working space and business incubator he founded in the Crenshaw district named Vector90. On top of giving inner-city entrepreneurs a place to work and grow their businesses, the center offers technical training and professional development. In November, Hussle told Fox 11 that he wanted to leave a legacy behind that lifts his community out of poverty. “We playing the long game,” he told the news station. “We don’t want the money to stop when we go. When we can’t work no more. We want it to outlive us, we want it to be generational.”
“I think it’s just about offering a new identity,” he added. “It’s not weak to be strong. It ain’t weak to make smart moves.”