Friends, family and community members, both in the Los Angeles area and across the nation, are grieving the devastating loss of Nipsey Hussle. The rapper, entrepreneur and philanthropist was shot and killed on Sunday (March 31) outside of his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles, and in the days since, thousands and thousands have put together countless heartfelt tributes to honor his legacy.
During an emotional interview with ABC News, Nipsey's older brother Samiel Asghedom reflected on how the Grammy-nominated artist spent his life aiming to be the community leader and role model he inevitably grew into.
"He was somebody that believed in the process of hard work, determination and just the positivity of somebody staying in the area that he grew up in and making something out of nothing," Asghedom said. "He was a role model to the community, to the kids, and to the mothers and the grandmothers and the community that watched him grow up and seen him as a youngster, [and now] a family man, a father, raising his kids."
He also recalled how Nipsey's entrepreneurial spirit encouraged him to work tirelessly to be able to give back to the community that helped make him.
"Growing up, when he was a teenager—I'm a little bit older than him, he was in the streets and gangs, trying to hustle and get money," Asghedom continued. "I was trying to make sure that he's safe and that he's legitimate and doing something positive and that was my whole goal. You know, at the end of the day, he's the one who actually made me have something legitimate to be able to attach myself to. It's hard that he was killed, man. It's hard."
Nipsey's older brother also noted how the late rapper was dedicated to uplifting the community in Crenshaw specifically, with many questioning his reasoning and intent for investing in the South Central Los Angeles neighborhood specifically.
"...He was murdered while he was in a parking lot, hanging out, selling CDs and that's the area that he felt attached to and did everything in the area and ended up buying a lot and rehabilitating, opening up businesses and just became a landmark for everybody," Asghedom shared. "He was a brother, a musician, an entrepreneur, a people's champ."
In related news, Congresswoman Karen Bass, who represents the city of Los Angeles, announced on Thursday (April 4) that she is working on formally entering the rapper's contributions to the neighborhood into the official record of Congress. This will help ensure that his legacy "will be a part of United States history forever."