March 31, 2019 was a day of sadness, sorrow, confusion and anger for the hip hop community.

And though it’s been three years today since the death of two-time Grammy-winning rapper Nipsey Hussle, the loss is still as hurtful now as it was back then.

Nipsey, born Airmiess “Ermias” Joseph Asghedom, was gunned down outside of his clothing store, The Marathon Clothing, on Slauson Ave in Los Angeles. Nipsey’s decision to open the store in the middle of Crenshaw, the area in which he grew up, was in keeping with his entrepreneurial efforts to build up and give back to the community that raised him.

That’s what ‘Nip’ was all about. After having lived his adolescent years a part of the gritty, gang-centered South LA lifestyle, the 33-year-old “Double Up” rapper was on a mission to uplift, inspire, invest and provide opportunities not normally available to young Black men like himself.

Nipsey was a prolific rapper whose music reflected not only his life experiences, but also his future plans, with lyrics like: “Think if I call it the great, the people gon’ call it the truth // Ain’t really trip on the credit, I just paid all of my dues // I just respected the game, now my name all in the news // Trippin’ on all of my moves, quote me on this, got a lot more to prove.”

Those lyrics from “Hussle & Motivate” were among a few of the other chart-topping hits from Nipsey’s debut studio album, Victory Lap, which went on to win Best Rap Album at the 61st Grammy Awards.

The old saying “the good die young” certainly rang true when Nipsey Hussle died. And while the young king was just getting started, Nip’s legacy will live on forever.

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