Rapper Nipsey Hussle Shot and Killed Outside His Los Angeles Clothing Store
The Grammy nominee was shot Sunday outside his South L.A. clothing store on Sunday afternoon. He was 33.
Rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed Sunday outside his South Los Angeles clothing store. He was 33.
Two other people were wounded in the shooting, and are said to be in stable condition, while Hussle was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was shot multiple times outside his store, Marathon Clothing.
Reached by The Hollywood Reporter, an LAPD spokesperson confirmed a shooting but said, "We don't confirm the names of victims," and pointed to a statement on the LAPD HQ Twitter account: "At approximately 3:20 pm there was a shooting reported in the area of Slauson Ave and Crenshaw Blvd. 3 victims were transported to a local hospital where one was pronounced deceased. We have no suspect info at this time and will provide more details as they become available."
However, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed the news on his Twitter account Sunday night: "Our hearts are with the loved ones of Nipsey Hussle and everyone touched by this awful tragedy. L.A. is hurt deeply each time a young life is lost to senseless gun violence. My Crisis Response Team is assisting the families coping with shock and grief."
In a press conference held earlier Sunday night, the LAPD would not confirm that Hussle was the deceased victim. However, they did say the investigation is being handled as a homicide and that there is one male black suspect.
LAPD added later in a tweet: "The suspect in the shooting is described as a male black & LAPD South Bureau Homicide is conducting an investigation to locate him and anyone else involved. You can expect the area of Slauson & Crenshaw to be impacted by streets closures & heavy traffic for several hours."
In a message that takes on a much different meaning now, Hussle's last tweet, sent out about 30 minutes before the shooting, read: "Having strong enemies is a blessing."
Hailing from Crenshaw, Los Angeles, the rapper, real name Ermias Ashgedom, was nominated for a Grammy for best rap album earlier this year for his debut studio album, Victory Lap. According to Billboard, the album debuted and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.
Previously, Hussle had built up a sizeable underground following after releasing a series of critically acclaimed mixtapes, beginning with 2010's The Marathon. In 2013, he came to mainstream prominence for his grassroots viral marketing campaign behind his 1,000 copies only mixtape Crenshaw, charging fans $100 for a physical copy. Rapper Jay-Z purchased 100 copies of Crenshaw, which sold out within 24 hours. Hussle followed a similar tactic for 2015's Mailbox Money, offering fans only 100 physical copies for $1,000 each, which again sold out in rapid time.
Hussle also co-owned a popular clothing label, Marathon Clothing, that is known for its distinctive Crenshaw logos. In June 2017, Hussle opened his first Marathon Clothing standalone store at the corner of Slauson and Crenshaw in Los Angeles. The "smartstore" was notable for offering fans the chance to buy the rapper's merchandise as well as preview exclusive material.
Hussle was also well known for his commitment to his local community, investing time and money into educational and business programs. In February, a day before the release of Victory Lap, he opened Vector 90, an innovative co-working space and STEM center in Crenshaw. At the center's unveiling, Hussle stated that he wanted to mentor and provide a path for minority and underrepresented groups to find opportunities in Silicon Valley. He was also an advocate and community partner for Destination Crenshaw, the new outdoor music, arts and culture event that celebrates black Los Angeles that will run along the 1.3 mile stretch of Crenshaw/LAX light-rail line.
Years earlier, Hussle acknowledged an association with L.A. street gang Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips. He had a child with actress Lauren London as well as children from previous relationships.
On Sunday night, L.A. Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff tweeted that he and LAPD Chief Michel Moore were scheduled to meet with Hussle and Roc Nation representatives to discuss gang violence on Monday: "We (@LAPDChiefMoore and I ) were meeting , at the request of @NipseyHussle with him and @rocnation tomorrow at 4pm to talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids. I’m so very sad."
Stars from the worlds of music, film, TV and sports were quick to express their shock and outrage on social media after the news broke.
Rihanna tweeted: "This doesn’t make any sense! My spirit is shaken by this! Dear God may His spirit Rest In Peace and May You grant divine comfort to all his loved ones! I’m so sorry this happened to you."
Insecure star Issa Rae tweeted: "Watching Nipsey inspired me to invest and own in our communities. He was a solid man who loved his woman, his family and his community. This hurts."
Rapper Meek Mill wrote: "Broke me.... we really fighting for our lives against our own kind and really have to take risk and match the level of hatred that we are born in .. I’m tired ... prayers for my brother and his family."
Pharrell Williams added: "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. rest amongst the stars."
"This is tragic," added Chance the Rapper.
Lakers star LeBron James added: "So so SAD man!! DAMN man this hurt."
Billboard contributed to this report.