Los Angeles rapper and songwriter Nipsey Hussle, whose real name is Ermias Joseph Asghedom, died after being shot multiple times in front of his clothing store in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.
Los Angeles police sources told the Los Angeles Times on Monday they believe the killer was someone in the rap star’s orbit, and though gunman has gang ties, the motive is likely personal in nature rather than a larger gang feud.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called Nipsey’s death a result of “senseless gun violence.”
A few hours before the shooting, Nipsey had tweeted: “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”
Here are five things you need to know.
1. Nipsey Was Shot Multiple Times Outside The Clothing Store He Opened In Crenshaw
The shooting was reported around 3:20 p.m. local time in the parking lot at Marathon Clothing on West Slauson Avenue in South Los Angeles’ Hyde Park.
Hussle was shot multiple times and then rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said Monday that he died of a gunshot wound to the head.
According to TMZ, the shooting was personally directed at Nipsey and the suspect that law enforcement is looking for is a black male in his 20s. After approaching Nipsey and his crew and firing shots, he ran away to a nearby waiting getaway vehicle.
One of the other men in the incident was being treated at a nearby hospital, and the third man declined treatment, Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Chris Martinez said on Sunday. No other details of their identities have been released.
There were posts on Twitter from Sunday’s crime scene and after the shooting, a crowd gathered to pay tribute to the late musician.
Hussle and two co-owners opened the Marathon Clothing store in June 2017 at a star-studded event that included appearances from rappers and NBA players alike. It was dubbed a “smartstore.”
“I wanted to open up a brick and mortar physical retail in this area and thought, ‘What’s the trajectory and likelihood of being successful as e-commerce grows?'” he said in an interview with Billboard at the time.
Fans paid tribute to Nipsey outside the store on Monday.
2. Nipsey Is A Known Member Of An L.A. Gang But Had Recently Turned Into A Community Organizer
Hussle has long been associated with the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips, one of Los Angeles’ largest street gangs.
“When you around 100 Crips, you still a Blood. When 40-Glocc and them run up on you, you still a Blood. And I ain’t talking about Wayne. I got respect for they movement and I like the dude as an artist. But I’m just saying on some gangbang shit, when you go to the county jail and you walk in the court tank and it’s 50 of your enemies, you still gonna say the 60s (Rollin 60 Neighborhood Crips). Or you not a gangbanger. Your homies gonna hear about it, beat you up, kick you in your ass, and you was for nothin’. I know in the real world in this shit, a lot of niggas wouldn’t make it. So like I said, it’s an overstanding I got about it. I look at it like these niggas is totally out of character,” he told Complex in a 2010 interview.
But in recent years, Nipsey had become heavily involved in the community, most recently investing in the new Destination Crenshaw arts project, a 1.3-mile-long “outdoor art and culture experience celebrating Black Los Angeles.”
Nipsey was also an investor in Vector90, a professional co-working space in Crenshaw which he described as a “bridge between Silicon Valley and the inner city” that would also include STEM classes. There were plans to open more in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and other underserved neighborhoods all over the country.
Nipsey told Forbes last year that in his younger days he had been influenced by “ignorance and self-destructiveness in the narrative that was pushed on us through music in our generation.”
In November, Hussle told Fox 11 that his goal is to leave a legacy and financial stability for his children.
“We playing the long game. We don’t want the money to stop when we go. When we can’t work no more. We want it to outlive us, we want it to be generational,” he said.
According to Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff, he and Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore were with Hussle and Roc Nation on Monday “talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids.”
At the Watts Civic Center on Monday morning, Moore urged residents to come forward with any information: “We will conduct lawful investigations and bring them to justice.”
“Throughout the years as he fostered success in his music career … he chose, rather than to leave … to come back and reinvest. And to reinvest and try to address the various underpinnings that fostered this environment,” Moore said, adding that the shooting was “just terrible.”
3. Nipsey Was In A Long-Term Relationship With Actress Lauren London
Nipsey and Lauren London started dating in December 2013 and announced surprisingly in August 2016 that she had given birth to a son named Kross Asghedom.
The two were very private but just gave an in-depth interview to GQ in which they talked about how they met: Instagram DMs.
The two first connected thanks to Instagram when she messaged him to discuss a limited edition mixtape Nipsey was selling at the time for $100.
London got the mixtapes, started following Nipsey on Instagram, he followed back and then the eventually became one of the most loved couples in hip-hop.
Before being in a relationship with London, Nipsey dated Tanisha Asghedom and they had a daughter together named Emani Asghedom. London also has a 9-year-old son from a previous relationship with rapper Lil Wayne named Cameron.
London has made no public statement as of Monday.
4. Nipsey Was A Grammy-Nominated Musician
In 2005 he released his first mixtape titled Slauson Boy Volume 1.
Nipsey had also released several mixtapes, including three installments of his “Bullets Ain’t Got No Name” series, “The Marathon,” “The Marathon Continues” and “Crenshaw.”
His debut studio album “Victory Lap” was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019. Announced in 2014, it wasn’t released until 2018. The album included appearances by Kendrick Lamar, Diddy and The-Dream.
He released a collaboration with Drake (“Killer”) in 2009 and appeared on Snoop Dogg’s Malice in Wonderland album in 2010. He had been working with artists including YG and Rick Ross.
Nipsey often rapped about what life was like growing up in surrounded by gang violence and poverty.
“I grew up in gang culture,” the rapper told the Los Angeles Times in March 2018. “We dealt with death, with murder. It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it. I guess they call it post-traumatic stress, when you have people that have been at war for such a long time. I think L.A. suffers from that because it’s not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while.”
5. Tributes To Nipsey Poured In Across Social Media
Tributes from musicians, actors, actresses and athletes poured in across social media.