In a new GQ feature, fellow artists and others close to the late Nipsey Hussle reflect on his far-reaching legacy that spanned from community activism to an inspiring dedication to creative independence.
"We met through a mutual friend, like, on the phone," Lauren London, Nipsey's partner and the mother of son Kross, said in Gerrick D. Kennedy's excellent "The Light of Los Angeles" piece. "Because we're both from L.A., we had a lot of friends in common. I had a couple of homegirls that had hung out with him and would come back to me like, 'Oh, my God! You would really like Nip! He seems like your type!'"
London then recalled what she considers her first date with Nipsey, which included stopping by her aunt's house to eat before driving down the PCH and talking for hours. "We started kicking it every day for weeks, and then I realized that we never went to dinner and had, like, a proper first date," she said. "From there, it was just…easy. It felt so natural for us to be in each other's lives."
Lauren also looked back on Nipsey's "gentle" approach to fatherhood, his spontaneity ("He loved having fun"), the three books he bought her a few days before his death, her hesitance to speak about their last day together, and more.
Elsewhere, artists including DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, and Meek Mill spoke on their relationship with and admiration for Nipsey. Rick Ross, speaking on his previously addressed attempt to sign Nipsey, recalled first meeting him back in 2009.
"I told him, I see the impact you will make on the world," Rozay told GQ. "I always knew he would be bigger than just music. I saw it from the beginning." Though Nipsey ultimately turned down the deal, Rick understood the decision and stayed in touch.
"Nipsey had his own aspirations for independence," he said. "I respected his position."
Khaled also tried to sign Nipsey after catching a documentary on the artist's work thus far. "I actually tried to sign him," he said. "I'd seen his documentary on WorldStar, and I was like, 'This kid is special.'"
Meek, meanwhile, recalled Nipsey as a "cool, calm, and collected" artist with "a pure heart." He also briefly addressed the joint album he was working on with Nipsey prior to his March 2019 murder. "We probably had about three or four songs," Meek said, with Atlantic Records' senior VP of A&R Dallas Martin noting that the two were working on the project on the Thursday before he was killed.
"We were in a studio—me, him, and Meek Mill," Martin added. "They were going to do a joint album. He was Grammy-nominated, Meek was coming off the success of Championships, and they were big fans of each other. They made some great songs that night."
The full GQ feature also includes words from Russell Westbrook, bodyguard J Roc, Dom Kennedy, Marathon Agency co-founder Steve ‘Steve-O’ Carless, publicist Brittany Bell, father Dawit Asghedom, and siblings Samiel Asghedom and Samantha Smith, and many more. Read it here.
Over the weekend, When They See Us director Ava DuVernay reflected on the Nipsey Hussle estate's generosity in allowing for the use of his voice in the closing moments of the Netflix miniseries. "A massive gift," she said. "Forever grateful."