Everything to Know About Nipsey Hussle: From $100 Mixtapes to Lasting Love with Lauren London
Nipsey Hussle is survived by his two children: daughter Emani from a previous relationship and son Kross, 2½, with his girlfriend, actress Lauren London
Rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot and killed on Sunday at the age of 33, will be remembered for his music, his dedication to his family, and his strong legacy of community involvement.
The “Hussle & Motivate” musician (né Ermias Asghedom) died after being shot on the street where his clothing store, the Marathon Clothing Company, is located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, NBC News, the Los Angeles Times and TMZ reported, citing multiple law enforcement sources.
Two other victims were involved in the shooting, authorities say.
“Right around 3:20 this afternoon, there was a shooting that occurred at the 3400 block of West Slauson Avenue,” a public information officer with the Los Angeles Police Department tells PEOPLE. “Three individuals, three victims were shot. They were taken to a local hospital. One of those victims died at the local hospital, the other two are listed in stable condition.”
The PIO added: “The subject responsible for the shooting fled in some type of vehicle, but I do not have the information of the type of vehicle he fled in.”
The officer said that the South Bureau Homicide team is investigating the incident.
Just hours before the shooting, Hussle tweeted, “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the late rapper.
He once sold 1,000 mixtapes for $100 each
Although Hussle has released several mixtapes over the years, the music industry really began to take notice of the rapper in 2013, when he decided to independently release his 2013 mixtape Crenshaw. Choosing to go with a novel release strategy, the rapper only produced 1,000 physical copies of the mixtape, setting the price tag at $100.
“The marketing for the mixtape was that we only made a thousand units and sold them for a hundred dollars apiece,” Nipsey Hussle told GQ in February. “It was a scarcity model.”
In a statement issued to RapRadar.com in 2013, the rapper explained that he decided to adopt the unique business model as a way to stand up to major record labels. (The rapper had previously been signed to Epic Records.)
“It ISN’T the price of the plastic case and polyurethane disc…it’s the price of Revolution! The price of Rebellion against an industry that has tricked us all into making products that have no soul for fear of not being heard if we don’t,” he wrote.
“I got a DM on Twitter from a respected hip-hop journalist and he was just like, ‘Hov respects the move, salute,’ ” Nipsey told MTV News at the time. “A little while later, I got an email that came through my team that was like, ‘Roc Nation, on behalf of JAY-Z wants to buy 100 units. Who do we pay? When can we get the shipment out?’ ”
“I didn’t get a chance to holla at Jay, but through his people he made it clear that he respects the movement and everything. I was humbled by it. I felt like it was a good risk, and it ended up working out,” he added.
“WHEN ITS YO TIME..ITS YO TIME!” he wrote alongside a screenshot of Cardi accepting the award. “Congrats to @iamcardib on Her Grammy for Best Rap Album & Also being Tha 1st female to Do it!🏁.”
Prior to his death, Hussle had been dating his girlfriend Lauren London, with whom he shared 2½-year-old son Kross, for five years.
Opening up about how the pair first started dating, London, 34, told GQ in February, “I did not slide into his DMs. My homeboy did.”
At the time, Hussle was releasing his 2013 mixtape Crenshaw, and London, an actress who was starring in the BET series The Game at the time, wanted to pick up a few copies for her costars.
After getting her hands on the release, London followed the rapper on Instagram.
“You know what that means, right?!” Hussle told the publication, sharing that he then followed her back and messaged her on the platform.
The couple have been dating ever since, although they briefly split in 2017.
In addition to the couple’s son, Hussle was also dad to daughter Emani from a previous relationship.
Making his 2019 trip to the Grammys even more meaningful, Hussle brought along Emani as one of his dates to the award show. (The rapper also attended the awards ceremony with London.)
Previous gang ties
Hussle — who grew up in Los Angeles — was believed to have ties to the Crips gang, of which he spoke in a 2010 interview with Complex.
Opening up about what it was like to make the transition from being involved in gang culture to being an artist, the rapper said he felt “like I’m an ambassador.”
“Not just to pump myself or none of that, but nobody ain’t, other than Snoop, and Snoop’s my homeboy, and he comes from a different era, but as far as my generation and where we came from, I don’t know nobody in the streets and was active with this gangbang s— like I was and my homie was,” he said.
The rapper went on to share that moving forward, he was in “a different state of mind” and more “focused on giving solutions and inspiration.”
A few years later, Hussle elaborated on what led him to first get involved in gang culture.
“I left my house kind of early, when I was probably like 14,” he told VLAD TV in 2014, explaining that at that time he had moved out of his mother’s house and in with his grandmother.
“I was always doing things to try to get money so I could support myself,” he shared. “The culture of my area is gang culture so by being outside, being involved with hustling, being in the hood doing things to try and get money, being young, riding your bike through the hood getting shot at…after a while it just be like, you’re always in the middle of some s—, you might as well be part of it.”
As Hussle rose to fame, he kept his ties to his community strong and began focusing on helping make a meaningful impact on his neighborhood of Crenshaw.
Shortly after news of his death was first reported on Sunday, L.A. Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff shared that on Monday, the rapper had scheduled a meeting with him and the police chief of the LAPD to address gun violence.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m so very sad.”
In February, Hussle and business partner Dave Gross also spent “a couple million” to buy a strip mall near where he grew up, in order to help revitalize the neighborhood, according to Forbes. His clothing store, the Marathon Clothing, is one of the tenants of the property.
“Before we was renting here, I was hustling in this parking lot,” he told the outlet.
Within the next 18 months, the outlet reported that Hussle and his business partner planned to totally revamp the area, adding in a six-story residential building on top of the new commercial plaza. Additionally, a new train station was being built nearby.
The rapper went on to tell Forbes he planned to repeat the real estate venture in other cities across the country by teaming up “with local leaders.”
According to GQ, the rapper was also involved with a STEM program for inner-city kids.