LOS ANGELES — The Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed in a shooting outside his clothing store in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon. Two other men were shot, and a suspect remained at large.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's Crisis Response Team confirmed the news on Sunday night, saying, "Today we lost a great musician, Nipsey Hussle." It said it was "consoling and offering support to the family."
Hussle was shot multiple times in the parking lot at Marathon Clothing in South Los Angeles at about 3:25 p.m. and pronounced dead at a hospital,police sources said. One of the two men who were wounded were being treated at a hospital, and the other declined treatment, Los Angeles police Lt. Chris Martinez said.
No other information was immediately available, but just a couple of hours before, Hussle, 33, whose real name was Ermias Ashgedom, had tweeted, "Having strong enemies is a blessing."
Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff said Sunday night that he and Police Chief Michael Moore had been scheduled to meet with Hussle and representatives of Roc Nation, Jay-Z's entertainment agency and production company, on Monday to "talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids."
Hussle's debut studio album, "Victory Lap," was nominated for Best Rap Album at this year's Grammy Awards.
Hussle had long been associated with the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips, one of Los Angeles' largest street gangs, which he publicly acknowledged in a 2010 interview with Complex magazine.
In more recent years, however, Hussle had developed an interest in technology and community development, and he was part of a team of artists and entrepreneurs who developed Destination Crenshaw, an open-air museum devoted to honoring African-American artistic achievement.
"In our culture, there's a narrative that says, 'Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,'" he told the Los Angeles Times last year. "And that's cool, but there should be something that says, 'Follow Elon Musk, follow Zuckerberg.'
"I think that with me being influential as an artist and young and coming from the inner city, it makes sense for me to be one of the people that's waving that flag," he said.
Hussle was also an investor in Vector 90, a co-working space in South Central Los Angeles, where young people can take classes in science, technology and mathematics. He called the center a "bridge between Silicon Valley and the inner city," saying at last year's Afrotech conference that he hoped to expand to other cities, like Atlanta, Washington and Baltimore.
I’ll remember him this way. Bright, genuine, forward thinking.
I’ll remember the beauty that he saw in our community. And the beauty that he was.
He loved us. He’s left that love with us. And it cannot die.
RIP Nipsey. I just spent Thursday with him filming a video for a beautiful new song we created with Khaled. We filmed in Inglewood, close to where he grew up. He was so gifted, so proud of his home, so invested in his community. Utterly stunned that he's gone so soon.
In an interview last year with Forbes, Hussle said that as a youth, he'd fallen prey to the "ignorance and self-destructiveness in the narrative that was pushed on us through music in our generation."
"I see how damaging that was, for myself included, and we're all subject to the social pressure," he said. "I wasn't above it. Each of us are impacted by what's going on around us. For me, understanding the platform I have and who it speaks to, it's about being strategic."
"I wanted to redefine the lifestyle and what we view as important," he said. "When you hear 'buy back the block' as the narrative, that's powerful. That's a step towards redefining the expectation."
Hussle and two co-owners opened Marathon Clothing in June 2017 as a "smartstore," complete with a smartphone app on which fans could buy exclusive content and products.
"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.
Hussle said his goal was to "create a theme park for the brand."
"We haven't seen that in hip-hop," he said. "We haven't seen someone create a real-world place where the brand lives and there's products."
Hussle's death deeply shook the worlds of music and sports, in which he was seen as an inspirational figure.
This doesn’t make any sense! My spirit is shaken by this! Dear God may His spirit Rest In Peace and May You grant divine comfort to all his loved ones! ?????? I’m so sorry this happened to you @nipseyhusslepic.twitter.com/rKZ2agxm2a
You were about something..positive and for your community in every chance you had to speak..and because of that You inspired millions..millions who will uphold your legacy forever. rest amongst the stars. 🙏🏾 https://t.co/7gZ795wcQT
Nipsey you a legend. I respect and admire your career path and what you did for the neighborhood. My heart broke today when I saw the news. I’m praying for your loved ones. This was sposed to be the year we got one in. God had bigger plans for you ????
Wow. I don’t even know what to say. I’m confused. Nipsey and I had just started really getting to know each other. I feel honored to have worked on his project. Nipsey represents change, he represents evolution, he represents everything our culture needs to embrace. pic.twitter.com/BN9240BYwK