Ermias Joseph Asghedom, better known as Nipsey Hussle, spent his career perfecting his craft as a rapper, as well as an investor and philanthropist. He has been appropriately called an industry gem; an artist working towards not only success, but also striving to build an inclusive and supportive community in his hometown.
In 2005, Nipsey Hussle when he released his first mixtape, Slauson Boy Volume 1, at just 19 years old. Even at the start, his music turned him into a hometown hero of sorts. Three years later, he dropped a single “Hussle in the House,” along with two mistapes: Bullets Ain’t Got No Name Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. The two mixtapes served as a jumping off point for the rapper to land coveted features, including a spot on Snoop Dogg’s 2009 album Malice n Wonderland. Then in 2010, Hussle was included in XXL’s Freshman Class. Later that year, Nipsey Hussle left Epic Records, leading him to create his own label, All Money In. Under the label, he released two mixtapes, The Marathon and The Marathon Continues, which included features from MGMT, YG, and Dom Kennedy. He went on to release nine more mixtapes. His Crenshaw release ran at $100 per copy, effectively selling out in less than 24 hours (even Jay-Z opted to buy 100 copies).
In 2018, Nipsey Hussle dropped his debut studio album, Victory Lap, a critically-acclaimed project that was even nominated for Best Rap Album at the Grammy Awards. It proved to be worth the 13-year wait, serving as his crowning moment as a rapper. The project boasted features from the likes of Kendrick Lamar on the track “Dedication” and YG on “Last Time That I Checc’d.”
Nipsey Hussle was not only invested in his music career; he was also deeply invested in his community. He built Marathon Clothing, a clothing store part of a strip mall complex in his hometown. In addition to his store, Hussle opened a barbershop, fish market, burger restaurant, a co-working space, a STEM center for low-income kids in Crenshaw, and other community-minded businesses. On March 31, 2019, Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed outside of Marathon Clothing in Los Angeles. He was 33 years old. He was married to Lauren London.