Since the untimely death of activist, entrepreneur, family man, and rapper Ermias “Nipsey Hussle” Asghedom, I have been struggling to forge the necessary words to describe how much his life meant to my moral compass, my Ori.
People who know me intimately know that I rarely get phased. The world ending and the sky falling only cause me to slow down, go inward, and find solutions to the forthcoming atrocities. However, when Nip passed, I could not maintain this relaxed, ambitious composure. I was devastated. A man whose music and business moves helped shape my daily functioning was brutally murdered like so many other black brothers and sisters in this nation. I was unsure of how to process his death and repurpose it as a motivational tool.
It took a toll on me.
I cried and got lost in the abyss of my thoughts. I went to work carrying a massive amount of grief for a man I never even met in the physical. I did not have the energy for uncomfortable laughs, unfulfilling conversations, and soulless meetings the day after his assassination. I just wanted to get on the space ship that Kanye once harmonized about and fly to Los Angeles. I wanted to tell Blacc Sam or somebody else in Nip’s family how much he meant to black millennials like myself. I wanted to at least offer my own face to face condolences.
HIs music alone made him worthy.
Nipsey offered gritty tales of street life from the perspective of a man who wanted the community to elevate light years beyond our current status. From the impact it had on the culture of hip hop music and business, I still hail “Crenshaw” as a classic. That is my truth.
As I have told many of my friends and family members, Nipsey helped me understand the power of sincere, unequivocal impact. HIs Vector 90 platform was about impact. His music was about impact. HIs words, mannerisms, authentic fluid motion and the way he represented his community was about impact. The Marathon Clothing store was about impact. The Proud to Pay campaign was about impact. The youth STEM program he created was about impact. When you have Minister Louis Farrakhan and Stevie Wonder at your funeral, you have made an impact.
In this lifetime, this short time I spend in this physical realm, I want to make an impact. I want the quality of my life to be impactful. I want my city and my people who are near and abroad to be impactful. I want black faces to shine and black culture to thrive. This is my testament — my ultimate passion and driving force — because nothing else really matters.
Thank you for the reminder Nip, and I thank your family and friends for elevating you as you elevated us all.
The Marathon Continues,