The devastating news of Nipsey Hussle’s murder hits home, it hits home for myself and all of Los Angeles. We lost a father, a son, a protector, a provider, a friend, a brother, a lyricist and most importantly we lost a community activist and philanthropist. This loss is personal for many that have ever crossed paths with Nipsey Hustle, from celebrities to those of us simply walking into the “Marathon Clothing Store.”
Sunday, March 31st, 2019 is a day LA will never forget. Ermias Asghedom better known as Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in front of his “Marathon Clothing Store,” a landmark and staple within the very community he was raised in and came from.
The Grammy-nominated rapper was more than music, even though music has been his passion since the age of 14, he has admittedly stated that he didn’t grow up within a cookie cutter lifestyle. Well known for his early gang affiliation with the Crips, he has always wanted more than what was beyond the surface.
“Buy back the block” -Nipsey Hussle
In the early stages of his music career, Nipsey and his brother Blacc Sam opened ‘Slauson T’s’ – which would later be relaunched and renamed ‘The Marathon Store’ selling socks, t-shirts, Nipsey’s mixtapes and other miscellaneous retail items in order to gain profit to one day buy back the real estate in which they rented from. In 2005 the message he gave to his peers on the ’Slauson Boy’s Vol. 1’ mixtape, wasn’t what the average rapper was talking about but more insightful, pushing the message of investing money into real-estate properties and ownership.
In 2010, his self-owned label, All Money In was birthed. With the promotion of the 2013 “Crenshaw” mixtape, Hussle produced 1,000 copies and put a $100 price tag on it. As outrageous as it may have seemed back then, it caught the attention of successful rapper turned businessman Sean ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, who purchased all 1,000 copies earning Nipsey Hussle a $100,000 profit while continuing to stress how important it is to earn royalties to your music.
With “Hussle” as many fans affectionately called him, single “Checc Me Out” charting on Sound Scan, his reach within the community became even more prevalent. Purchasing the strip mall on the corner of Crenshaw and Slauson where “The Marathon Store” is currently located, a barber shop and burger spot. He also set out to build affordable housing for the middle class of Black America, exposing those of his race to healthier food options, empowering them to learn not to just settle for what is called fast food.
No matter the financial success attained, Hussle remained true to wanting his people and community to rise up with him. In 2017, “The Marathon Store” would relaunch, and become the hoods first ‘Smart- store’. Consumers could walk into the store, purchase shirts, hoodies, and other items and with a smartphone, hover over the ‘TMC’ label found on the front of every shirt, to unlock unreleased content- videos, music and more!
It is without a doubt that Nipsey was truly about his neighborhood succeeding and did everything to achieve that. With entrepreneurship being his main priority for the people of his community he also expressed that each individual of the community should be in control of their own destiny, while always remaining true to themselves and standing firm on their word.
Monday, April 1st, 2019, thousands gathered around to show their respect in honor of the Late “Nipsey Hussle The Great.” Outpourings of tweets from all of Los Angeles, and celebrities such as Rihanna, Ava Duvernay, Maliibu Miitch, Jay-Z, Terrace Martin, Bad Lucc, Dave East, Joe Budden and many others, along with athletes; Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Lebron James, Colin Kaepernick, community leaders; Mayor Eric Garcetti, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, Congresswoman Karen Bass, LAPD Chief Michel Moore, The Nation of Islam and many others around the world, who sent their love and condolences to his family.
Following his late passing, Congresswoman Karen Bass has made it her duty to write Ermias Asghedom into the Congressional record as part United States history, honoring all that he has done within his community, uplifting and giving opportunities to those who didn’t think beyond their daily routine. Los Angeles City will be renaming the intersection of Crenshaw and Slauson “Nipsey Hussle Square” on Friday, April 11, 2019.
I would like to conclude with this:
Life is short and we take a lot of things for granted, we sometimes cherish material possessions, when we should cherish people and the memories we create with them. Nipsey in one way or another made us feel invincible, through lyrics and even a simple acknowledgment that he would give on any given day walking through “The Marathon Clothing” doors or out in the street. Let us continue to bring peace into the lives of those we cross paths with, let us celebrate each other while we are here, alive, healthy, smiling and thriving. Let us as Black People remind each other every day that, “WE ARE SOMEBODY, WE ARE NOT JUST – WE ARE.”
Remembering that you can make a difference in the world and manifest the life you wish to live, with belief, hard work, and determination. Remain true to who you are at heart, let jealousy and envy fall by the wayside. Your friend is not your enemy, THERE IS ROOM AT THE TABLE FOR US ALL, COLLECTIVELY. Put your phone down and look at the life around you, take a look into your neighborhood, see what small or big changes you can make daily.
To the family of Mr. Ermias Asghedom, on behalf of A Valid Review Magazine, we would like to send our condolences and prayers to you all. We will do our part in celebrating his life and carrying on the legacy he left us with.
The Marathon Continues...