Nipsey Hussle's murder has rocked the hip-hop community as well as the rapper's own community of South LA, where a banner for his Grammy-nominated label debut, Victory Lap, has been stretched across the exterior of a mall for most of the year. The 33-year-old was shot dead Sunday, putting an end not just to his future music but to the other plans he had for himself and his community. "He was more than a rapper," explains Gerrick D. Kennedy in a Los Angeles Times column. He "became an entrepreneur, community organizer, activist and mentor as he transformed into a rap star. His death in front of the strip mall he was redeveloping a few blocks away from that celebratory banner feels particularly cruel." See Kennedy's full piece for more on the rapper who never shied away from the struggles he dealt with, and whose music as a result spoke to "the street hustlers and those of us struggling to make ends meet." Related:
- Background: NPR has background on his life, from his childhood dreams of becoming a rap star to his stint in a gang and breakout success in the music industry. "He overcame the obstacles of an unforgiving environment, made famous by generations of West Coast rap legends, to become one of the most beloved and inspirational figures within the culture."
- A nation: Also paying tribute to Hussle: the nation of Eritrea, where his father was from. "Extremely saddened," wrote its information minister, posting a link to an interview from when Hussle visited last year. In it, Hussle spoke of how much he loved the nation and wanted to reconnect with relatives there. CNN has more on that.