By Jade Flint, Culture Editor
Everyday I raise an extra prayer of healing for Lauren, Kross, Emani, Sam, your family and your community because I feel but can only imagine the immense pain felt in your loss. It’s crazy to see the untimely passing of another member of that 2009- 2010 class of rappers, that really helped a lot of 20 something’s like myself navigate the ferocious waters of prepubescent life and shaped the type of people we be- came. I’m so sorry this disgustingly vicious cycle of violence in our community struck you and made Lauren lose a husband.
The babies, a father. A much loved and respected individual of high moral fiber and an OG to everyone. While shining epically in your true light, serving your purpose on the highest degree possible, you still, all too soon, met an unfortunate demise at
the hands of a lost man. It serves as a humble reminder of what happens when we deprive people of all resources and expect them to pull themselves out of this im- posed darkness with no oxygen.
Hussle, you understood your haters and understood our doomed fate. You understood that they hated you for being the one rose of very few roses that struggled and fought hard to grow out of the concrete, and you showed love to them any- way because you understood the concrete. You understood that it made absolutely no sense to hate each other and envy the success of those in proximity to us. We need to use all of our time and energy hating and destroying the concrete that starves us from a meaningful human existence be-
cause we are forced to survive in impossible conditions. There’s a prophetic message in it definitely, and it makes people’s immediate reactions to your death in conspiracies quite logical in all honesty. The United States government has deep documented tendencies for suppressing those Black people who live extraordinary lives that unite their community for the better. However, the Dr. Sebi argument is just non-sensical. Dr. Sebi’s work was brilliant for teaching the importance of alkaline foods in your diet; a message that is definitely needed in the Black community, but the thought that the government found your involvement in shedding light on Dr. Sebi worthy for a planned assassination is preposterous. A conspiracy theory worth a sane person’s time
is the link to successful Black men that specifically promote financial independence through institution building in the Black community dying strange deaths (i.e. Sam Cooke, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Fred Hampton, Bunchy Carter, Tupac, etc). And now our beloved Nip.
“If you can get people out of survival mode, they start thinking different. I did. When I figured out how to get myself out of the situation. My approach to life and people was different.” You had plans to open a community STEM lab this year to solve the issue in Silicon Valley’s lack of utilizing the existing populations surrounding its borders. Your work is ensuring the creation of a pipeline for inner city LA children to obtain lessons in coding and access to opportunities in Silicon Valley through the skills learned. You recently became the
owner of the plaza, with your investment partner, Dave Gross, on Crenshaw and Slauson that you started truly striding in this marathon at selling your mix- tapes and various merchandise out of the truck of your car. You also have a critical hand in Destination Crenshaw: a 1.3 mile stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard that will serve as an outdoor museum to promote expression and representation of Black LA.
You were light-years ahead of all of us, Nip, in terms of vi- sions for a better tomorrow and actively taking the steps to create a community that is institutionally supported for people to thrive in and not simply survive. Let us rejoice in your last living testaments to us in your music. Thank you for giving us the blueprint for making something out of nothing.
On the 51st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, let us be reminded of your most important lesson to us in the fact that the “The Marathon Continues.” The seeds that were planted in you by the Dr. Sebi’s, Bunchy Carter’s and MLK’s of the past influenced you to influence us. The magnitude of your impact will reverberate positive energy into the world for decades to come. Please be assured that the seeds you planted in us will bloom to produce more fruit in this end- less cycle. Like my Louisiana sis, Cierra Chenier (@noirnnola) said, Nipsey would want us to be focused on creating more Nipseys. We need to refocus this energy after the grief into action. We all have wonderful skills and talents that we were blessed with. It is our earthly duty to identify and cultivate these skills for the sole purpose of helping uplift those around us. Your light burned bright to remind us that there is an innate light in all of us. We simply need to shift our energy to truly tap into it. De- spite your Victory Lap having now passed, rest assured that your transition from this Earth will fuel us to run another lap… and another and another.
May your soul rest in power.
“Regardless what you into, regardless what you been through/I feel like I got to tell you, you got something to contribute.”