I didn’t know who Nipsey Hussle was. I saw photos of him at a Jay-z party, I assumed he was a rapper/producer but I hadn’t heard any of his music. I noticed him, he was tall, bearded, tattoos, braids, a cool dress sense.
I heard Jay-z bought 100 of his mixtapes for $100 each, at the time I thought it was Jay-z being generous but it was a marketing strategy by Nipsey which was smart.
I saw on Twitter he was shot and killed by a friend of his and people were saying it was LA gang-related. I didn’t pay much attention but I started reading about him on the trending. A couple of the Islamic teachers posted about him and the good community work he did.
The police in LA were even saying they were upset he was killed, he was working with them on the issue of LA gangs and he was meant to be speaking about it.
I watched interviews on YouTube and read a lot more about him from what other people were saying. I feel like it’s changing my life. It’s impacted me, his work and mentality has inspired me this much. The last time this happened is when I read Malcolm X’s autobiography around the age of 20 after I finished university.
He came from Crenshaw & Slauson a neighbourhood in South Central LA. It’s infamous in African American culture. Rappers in hip hop are rapping about it and repping it. The ‘hood’ a place overrun with gangs and drugs, poverty, crime, violence, murder and little opportunity. He was a member of the Crips gang.
He got out of the gang banging lifestyle that a lot of young people fall into in the area and made great changes.
He was a rapper and entrepreneur. It is impermissible for Muslims to make music but we can learn from the business and ethics and apply it to ourselves. This also applies to anything else that is impermissible.
Business & Entrepreneurship
- He learnt the business of the music industry before entering it. He went to seminars to understand what he would be getting into business wise before doing it as an artist to not be put into debt. The music industry is set up where it is difficult for artists to own their own craft, many don’t make money and are used and abused by record labels selling dreams.
- He learnt by himself without ‘hookups’ and people or family in the industry.
- He said there wasn’t a studio or infrastructure where he lived so he created it, not only for himself but for the community to benefit from, creating jobs and making money where they lived, which raised a poor neighbourhood.
- He invested in a co-working space for budding entrepreneurs in his community, it prioritised entrepreneurs from the area to be able to rent office space. It also housed a STEM facility educating the younger generation and connecting inner city kids to silicon valley via education.
- He was a very smart man and businessman that preached and inspired people to be their own boss and have ownership also.
- He and his brother used to sell clothes and music out of a car to leasing a building to owning the whole block and creating a brand The Marathon Clothing Store. They expanded online also.
- He was called Neighbourhood Nip because of the community work he did for his neighbourhood in which he was born and raised.
- He gave gang members something to do in their own community, taking them out of that life by giving them an alternative when nobody else will.
- He helped kids in violent areas by getting an artist to refurbish a basketball court.
- He reopened places in the hood such as a roller rink that was damaged in riots. He was developing properties and revamping neighbourhoods.
- He gave local people jobs that people wouldn’t normally hire and made them feel valued.
- When people make it they don’t look back let alone go back to create opportunity by opening businesses. Nobody does it on his scale but he looked at it differently.
- He used his money, influence and fame to do good, he saw opportunities when people see crime and lost causes.
Taking Losses and Carrying On
From being arrested to being in prison, to taking large financial losses, to having assets taken from him never deterred him, defeated or demoralised him and he continued to work and do good. He said screw it I’ll earn it back.
He preached that life is a marathon and whatever hardships you face they’re not roadblocks but speed bumps and not allowing any setbacks to stop you.
“The rapper Nipsey Hussle who was murdered yesterday in South Central Los Angeles was known in the community for a lot of positive and charitable work.
Like many in hip hop, they have a complicated relationship with Islam. His father was from Eritrea. There are reports that he had shahadah, but Allah knows best. He had good relations with the Muslims in the area for sure.
Much of his lyrical content included what we consider munkar similar to many rappers who came off of the streets who took shahadah. I’m not going to name any of them, but there are many big name rappers who took shahadah. What many of us see as men rappin’ about munkar matters and wearing obscene amounts of jewelry are the same men in the hood getting gang members off of the streets, feeding people and in many cases being the only connection to seeing Muslims that are approachable.
Some of us walk around like we’re too righteous to meet gang members and orphans in the hood at their levels. Many of us are too busy looking “holy” with our thawbs, special shawls and Arabic terminology to be with them.
This is a loss to that community. May Allah guide and assist the people of South Central LA and help us.” Imam Dawud Walid
Inspiration & The Marathon CONTINUES….!
He was a leader amongst his own people, investing in his own people and community. He had hopes, dreams and creative energy and looked at things as opportunities, not a loss.
Nipsey said and many many other successful people say they didn’t have it figured out they just never quit and undoubtedly believed in themselves. That they created for themselves, you don’t need to have a foot in the door but you can open it when you believe.
Not only this he was sincere and it came from the heart. He had good intentions, a good nature and a good heart and it really showed. And he stayed true to what he was and became successful. He was honest and stood for principles, he had integrity and it showed through when he spoke. He made it a point to put in his music.
We can all do this just look where he came from and what he did at a young age in a short life span. He had so much potential which was tragically and unfortunately cut short but inspired my life and many many others.
A lot of people loved and respected him and what he did, people supported him because it came from the heart.
Create your own value by working and not compromising your principles. People will appreciate that the way I appreciate Nip.
Check out the interviews and videos for yourself, I haven’t done justice to what he did with his life and I only gave a snapshot of his work and as always The Marathon Continues!
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