This is a letter to Ermias Nipsey Hussle Asghedom
I Get It Now!
When I heard you was shot, I felt that. The world felt that. Not wanting to believe it, I searched every credible news source to get an update. We wasn’t ready to hear it. Seemed like hours had passed, and I was still in disbelief when the official news hit. I lost a brother, a mentor—my inspiration. Who would have known you would get taken out the way you did? In your own hood, in front of your store. That was disrespectful and a sign of jealousy. I didn’t think that such a respectable man could be so disrespected. But it happened. And now you’re gone….
Probably die up in these streets but I survive through my name – Nipsey
The next day I got a tattoo of your face on my back. Your legacy is something that has to be carried forever. You spoke our truth in a way that resonated with the whole hood. I believe the connection for me and you was the fact that I could see myself in you. I came from the hood. Lived the street life. And finessed it. It was survival, as you put it. Sometimes what we do to survive can either be a blessing or a curse. For most of the “black culture,” it becomes a curse.
The way you explained the trauma spoke to me.
Ironically, the week of your funeral I was already supposed to be in Cali for a speaking engagement. “I believe everything happens for a reason.” I was flying out only a day before your homegoing was not a reason to miss. I canceled plans and extended my trip. I had to feel the energy your death created. I knew it would bring me peace in a difficult time. It was like your death planted a seed, and people everywhere had begun to water it. This was an opportunity to experience greatness of legendary proportions.
Dude, your homegoing was beyond what I could ever imagine. You was from the streets, body tatted up, corn rows—you looked like me (stereotypical). You defined every stereotype. Yet, you were sent home respected as if you were the President of the United States. The Staples Center. THE STAPLES CENTER. Aw man, that was everything. Then, you took that victory lap through the hoods of Los Angeles. If that didn’t inspire all black people in the world, I don’t know what will.
In the time black people have been in the States, we can quickly count the amount of leaders we have had. Those that rose above hate and had a systematic mindset used their voices to create change. People like you created the biggest impacts. And many were killed just like you.
I believe I’m on the same path as you were—one to influence change. I want to inspire our community to be more than their circumstances. To give hope to a lost generation. Witnessing your demise, which had created such a powerful impact was a confirmation to the saying, “You have to be willing to die for what you believe in.”
Our community is hurting. Most of our people are instantly envious toward anyone that rises above the struggle. Rising above the struggle is not an easy thing to do. But when you believe in yourself, and know yourself, that process begins to look like dinner . Tupac and Bob Marley were among the few that inspired me through their music. But yours was like looking in the mirror. I want to create change but begin where I was brought up—just like you. It’s in my heart to give back to my community. I believe it’s my purpose. I believe you lived yours, but sadly your time was up.
They ask, “Who will grab the baton to continue the race?” I feel there’s a Nipsey everywhere, your death just pushed many to surface.
While in Cali, I decided to skydive for the first time ever. I saw your death as a reason to take more risk, remove doubt, and live life without fear. Who knows when our last day will be. So we have to do more with our lives in the present.
Thank you for speaking your truth and laying out a blueprint that will change our lives forever.
The Marathon Continues