Grammy-nominated Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed at his clothing store on Sunday—a day before he was scheduled to meet with the LAPD about stopping gang violence.
Less than two hours before he was murdered, the 33-year-old artist tweeted: “Having strong enemies is a blessing.’’
Two other people were wounded in the 3:20 p.m. shooting, according to the LAPD. Police issued only a vague description of the gunman and said they were “conducting an investigation to locate him and anyone else involved.”
Famous fans reacted to the news of Hussle’s death with shock, many paying tribute to his community work in the impoverished neighborhood where he grew up and died.
“This doesn’t make any sense! My spirit is shaken by this!” Rihanna tweeted. Pharrell Williams wrote: “You were about something positive and for your community in every chance you had to speak... and because of that You inspired millions... millions who will uphold your legacy forever.”
On Instagram, NBA star LeBron James posted: “Just spoke with you the other day on text bro! Telling you how proud I was of you and how I was gone get you to more Laker games next season. Been A Stand Up dude from Day 1. May you rest in PARADISE Young King.”
Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff said he and the police chief were set to meet Monday with Hussle and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation “to talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids.”
“I'm so very sad,” Soboroff tweeted.
After years as an independent artist, Hussle released his first studio album, Victory Lap, last year—and it was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album.
“It’s the story of Nipsey Hussle,” he said of the album in a Billboard magazine interview.
“Coming from selling his mixtapes out of his trunk on Crenshaw and Slauson, to having a venture with Atlantic Records and dropping his debut album—and then, with what the music sounded like and being delivered from that context—I just felt like it was like a moment for me as a fan of hip-hop, and as a fan of the underdog, and just the American dream of coming from nothing to something.”
The rapper—who was born Ermias Asghedom—grew up in Crenshaw but left home at 14 years old and joined the Rollin 60’s Crips gang. “I just was taking care of myself early on. I was doing things to try to get money to support myself,” he later explained in an interview. “The culture in my area was the gang culture.”
He started putting out mixtapes in 2005 and collaborated with Drake a few years later. He founded his own record label, All Money In, and opened a clothing store called The Marathon, where the shooting took place. He was also an adviser to the Destination Crenshaw arts project and had announced plans for a documentary on a self-proclaimed healer named Dr. Sebi.
He leaves behind two children, including one with actress Lauren London. The rapper and London recently taped a Newlywed Game-style quiz for GQ magazine: