A+E: ‘Giving Without Expecting” and the Legacy of Nipsey Hussle
by R.J. Johnson and Kourt Williams
Over the last two weeks, fans of Ermias “Nipsey Hussle” Asghedom celebrated the anniversary of the deceased rapper’s birthday, which was on August 15th, continuing the trend of the rapper’s premature demise having a more positive than negative impact on the L.A. area.
Initially, the murder of Nipsey, which was thought to be a gang hit, brought speculation of another “40 Days, 40 Nights,” which is a 40-day span of gang members commiting murder and terrorizing their communities, as well as neighboring ones, in retaliation for gang violence.
This didn’t pan out and after a couple of days of grieving over Nipsey’s passing, his gang “Neighborhood 40 Crip” and the rest of the L.A. area realized that Nipsey’s death was, in fact, internal, as he was slain by fellow “Neighborhood 40 Crip” member Eric Holder.
After the negativity ran its course, all of Los Angeles began making strives to better their communities. A young woman Tiarra Bogard, 17, from the LA area seeked inspiration from Nipsey herself.
“He was personally a role model for me,” Tiarra said. “He was an inspiration for kids growing up in this area that you can actually be somebody one day.”
Nipsey wasn’t a passive leader in his community. With the businesses he owned, he provided jobs to those around him.
“My uncle worked at the [clothing] store he was killed at. It was crazy because my uncle told me since Nipsey got shot, his clothing line’s profit has doubled,” said Tiarra.
“The Marathon Clothing,” Nipsey’s small-business, provided the community jobs with the goal of building generational wealth among locals.
One of Nipsey Hussle’s main goals was to provide inspiration and give a chance to those who weren’t given much opportunity. Tiarra experienced Nipsey being up close and personal with the community herself.
“What I loved the most about Nipsey was that he never forgot where he came from,” said Tiarra. “I remember when I was eleven years old, he came to my block and bought my cousins, friends, and I ice cream. He also gave us some advice and encouragement on the aspects of life.”
Little things like this is what helps keep these historically gang-torn communities as tight knit as possible.
A Bosco senior from the Los Angeles area, senior Aneicko Milligan, felt the impact immediately after Nipsey’s death and saw all the changes that came with it.
“I’ve seen a lot more people watching who they interact with but also lifting each other up,” Aneicko said. “That’s what it’s all about: being there for one another.”
Despite that sentiment, due to him personally enjoying Nipsey’s music prior to the rapper’s death, Aneicko feels that the amount of recent support that’s been given to Nipsey isn’t truly genuine.
“I feel like not many people were out here really listening to his music. Kendrick and YG mainly dominated areas like Compton, South Central, and the rest of L.A. Where was all this support for Hussle when he was trying to make our community better? Nowhere to be found. Everyone was still just gang banging and fighting over pointless things,” said Aneicko
Nipsey didn’t receive the same amount of recognition that his peers did in the music industry, and a lot of his good deeds went unnoticed. Positivity tends to go unnoticed within communities because of how much more of an impact negativity tends to have.
Negativity, such as gang violence, shootings, or any kind of crime committed, headline the news a good majority of the time, leaving less room for the good things being done to breathe.
Whether it’s a cause receiving a donation, youth centers being built, or schools attempting to improve on their curriculum for their students, these kinds of events tend not to receive the same amount of recognition as death and despair in our culture.
“A lot of influencers want the clout behind their good deeds,” said Aneicko. “Nip stayed humble and I respect him for that. He gave the community hope to make it a better place.”
For all ages, Nipsey Hussle’s life and death left a legacy behind that is being honored, with many still living hoping to replicate some of the things that he did for his community for their own.
Giving without expecting anything in return, that is what makes a neighborhood hero.