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L.A. Already Loved Nipsey Hussle ~ Tributes Pour In as South Los Angeles Loses One of its Champions

12:10 PM PDT on April 1, 2019

Credit: Alejandra K on Twitter

[dropcap size=big]'N[/dropcap]ipsey Hussle was more than a rapper.' That seems to be the sentiment as tributes and feelings of shock poured in about the slain Crenshaw native, who was beloved by his community — a community he championed, invested in, and held up for the world to see.

But those of that grew up south of the 10, east of the 405, know that rap as its purest form has always been about much more than gold-plated consumerism.

Born Ermias Asghedom in South Los Angeles on August of 1985, Nipsey Hussle would grow up to embody the spirit of early hip hop that gave a voice to the community. He told true stories from the streets, and gave young people of color an outlet to express pride and often times disillusionment. In the gilded age of rap music, Nipsey was a throwback.

Several younger people on social media who weren't around to see it, compared his murder and our loss from it to that of L.A.'s adopted son Tupac Shakur.

Most of the tributes to the business mogul and Grammy-nominated rap artist reflect his impact as a leader of the community. His approach to music, his skills a business man, and his belief in investing in his people, served to uplift the parts of L.A. that are often times in a three-way tug of war between systemic poverty, crime, and opportunistic gentrifiers.

RELATED: Highlights From the Rogue 99: In Praise of South Los Angeles

The pain appeared almost too unbearable in its closeness for those who grew up in communities just like Crenshaw and have dedicated their life to improving it without stealing its soul.

Overall, many people wanted to remember the 33-year-old entrepreneur and father of two in his own words.

RELATED: L.A. Rapper Nipsey Hussle, 33, Shot Dead Outside His Clothing Store at Slauson and Crenshaw [Updated]

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