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Nipsey Hussle’s legacy continues to live on one year after his tragic death. Known and revered for his dedication to his community, philanthropic efforts, successful rapping career, and entrepreneurial genius, Nipsey’s lasting impact can be seen within his Los Angeles neighborhood and beyond.
This past year, “The marathon continues” became more than just a saying to remember the slain rapper. It became a mentality, through which Nipsey’s family, friends and fans have truly continued to reflect on his principles and carry out his vision.
Ranging from a bookclub inspired by his favorite reads to business plans seen-through, here are 11 ways Nipsey’s legacy has lived on.
1. The Neighborhood “Nip” Foundation
Last August, Nipsey’s family launched the Neighborhood “Nip” Foundation in order to create opportunities for Los Angeles youths looking to break into the music industry. The foundation was initiated by Nip’s mother, Angelique Smith, who recalled the local Watts Towers program, where a teenage Nipsey used to record music for free.
“We used to talk a lot about [what the Watts Towers program] meant to him,” Nipsey’s brother Sam Asghedom told the L.A. Times. “The foundation will be aligned with everything Nip believed in and what helped him.”
Atlantic Records kicked the fund off with a six-figure donation, with CEO Craig Kallman and COO Julie Greenwald saying they hoped the Neighborhood “Nip” Foundation would help the rapper’s “courageous, generous spirit live on.”
2. His Puma X The Marathon Clothing collection
Just weeks before his passing, Nipsey announced his forthcoming collaborated collection between Puma and his The Marathon Clothing brand. Knowing that the collection was “a project about which he cared deeply,” Puma released the line on September 25, 2019 with 100 percent of the profits going toward his family’s Neighborhood “Nip” Foundation.
“We’re going to continue to release some product that we’ve created with [Nipsey],” Puma’s brand and marketing global director Adam Petrick said at the Future of Everything Festival. “We’ve also got some charity activations that we’ll do to support what he was doing in Crenshaw and trying to continue the work that he was doing through his foundation.”
The collection sold out within a day, leading the athletic company to reissue key pieces from the collection on Feb. 1. Once again, the collection quickly flew off the shelves with a portion of sales going toward Nip’s foundation once again.
3. Posthumous releases
In the past year, Nipsey has been posthumously featured in The Game’s Born 2 Rap album on “Welcome Home,” in Rick Ross’ Port Of Miami 2 alongside Teyana Taylor on “Rich Ni**a Lifestyle,” on Mustard’s Perfect Ten title track, and on DJ Khaled’s Father Of Asahd cut “Higher” alongside John Legend.
Days before releasing Father Of Asahd, Khaled revealed that Nipsey would appear posthumously on the record.
“Recently, I embarked on a soul-searching journey… It began when a tragedy robbed the world of an enlightened soul, a brother, a father, a partner and my friend, Nipsey Hussle,” the mega-producer wrote on Instagram. “Just days prior, he shared his energy and positivity with me on a video set for a song called, ‘Higher.’ After much prayer and reflection; and with the full blessing of the Asghedom family, I am sharing that moment with the world.”
Khaled also noted that all proceeds from the single would go toward Nipsey’s two children, Emani and Kross.
4. The Marathon Bookclub
Aside from being a rapper, entrepreneur and community leader, Nipsey was also a well-known bookworm. After his passing, a Wisconsin fan compiled a lengthy list of all the titles Nipsey had mentioned throughout his career, which gave way to The Marathon Bookclub.
According the L.A. Times, the club consists of over 70 individuals in cities across the country. Members formed local chapters and meet monthly to discuss Nipsey’s favorite books and authors. Besides reading, The Times also noted that the book club has become a safe space for African-American men to speak freely about a wide variety of important topics, such as family, hardship and mental health.
5. Grammy Award wins
Nipsey’s musical talents were acknowledged at the 2020 Grammy Awards. YG, Roddy Ricch, Meek Mill, John Legend and more gave the late rapper a star-studded tribute during the night, which also ended with Nipsey winning two posthumous awards.
He won his first Grammy for Best Rap Performance for his Roddy Ricch and Hit-Boy collaboration “Racks In The Middle,” which his family accepted on his behalf. Nipsey won his second posthumous award for Best Rap/Sung Performance for his appearance on DJ Khaled’s “Higher.” Khaled and Legend accepted the award, and dedicated the win to Nipsey and his family.
6. His contributions to his community have been documented by Congress
Nipsey’s contributions to his Crenshaw neighborhood are forever archived on a Congressional Record. About a week after his death, Democratic Rep. Karen Bass acknowledged Nipsey’s connection to his community while speaking on the House of Representatives floor.
“I rise today on the floor of the House of Representatives to formally recognize and honor the legacy of Ermias Asghedom, known to his community and the neighborhoods of South Los Angeles and beyond, as Nipsey Hussle,” Bass said last April.
“He taught and reminded our community that the power we hold is the power we come from and that awareness of our power is something no one can take from us,” she continued. “Nipsey Hussle will be remembered as a visionary, as a protector, as an inspiration, as a philanthropist, as a father, as a brother and as an unabashed son of South Los Angeles. For all he was given, he gave back. And for that legacy, South Los Angeles has been changed forever.”
7. A moment of peace between rival Los Angeles gangs
Although he was a well-known member of the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips, Nipsey was respected by and friends with rivaling gang members. In the wake of his passing, members from enemy gangs assembled for a peaceful vigil outside of his Marathon Clothing store. Even the 8 Trey Gangster Crips — who have feuded with the Rollin’ 60s for decades — came together to mourn the late rapper in a historic act of peace.
“They welcomed me with open arms,” Nipsey’s friend Bennett Shamond told The Guardian about the gathering. “That first handshake, and then them hugs, it’s like it’s real now. It was amazing. It was beautiful.”
Not wanting Nipsey’s death to be in vain, local activists and gang interventionists seized the opportunity to recruit members from over 30 Los Angeles gangs for sit-down talks, which prompted conversations about community-wide peace.
Across Los Angeles, Nipsey is forever immortalized in murals. The City of Angels houses illustrations of his likeness and lyrics on storefronts, along busy highways, on billboards, and in art galleries.
One of the larger Nipsey portraits is on a public basketball court in L.A.’s Hyde Park neighborhood. The gigantic mural, created by artist Gustavo Zermeno, is a testimony to Nipsey’s love for basketball and his community.
9. Ermias “Nipsey Hussle” Asghedom Square
Last April, after a Change.org petition garnered over half a million signatures, Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson announced that the L.A. intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and West Slauson Avenue would be renamed Ermias “Nipsey Hussle” Asghedom Square.
The intersection is where Nipsey’s Marathon Clothing store is located and where he was tragically murdered.
“People always asked him, ‘Why do you have something in this area? Why don’t you leave and do something else?’” his older brother Samiel Asghedom told ABC News. “But 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.”
10. The Nipsey Hussle Tower
Construction began on the upcoming Nipsey Hussle Tower back in August. Nipsey had planned to build the residential property in order to provide affordable housing and opportunities for more retail establishments within his neighborhood.
Announcing the closure of his Marathon Clothing store, which is where the upcoming Tower will be built, Lauren London committed to making the Tower a reality “to commemorate and honor the life and legacy of Nipsey.”
11. 2019 BET Humanitarian Award
Nipsey was recognized with the Humanitarian Award at the 2019 BET Awards. At the ceremony, T.I. reflected on his late friend’s legacy.
“He was revolutionary,” Tip said. “His emphasis on the power of equity and ownership of our art led the charge of independence and created a blueprint for other kind of artists today to follow… He inspired people across the world while never abandoning the community and culture that raised him.”
Nipsey’s son Kross, his daughter Emani, his mother and father, grandmother and Lauren London accepted the award on his behalf.
Nipsey’s legacy continues to impact those in his Los Angeles neighborhood, as well as hip hop fans across the world. A year after his passing, the marathon continues…