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Nipsey Hussle was a hometown hero and many of us didn't know until he was gone

Nipsey Hussle's grieving family members, friends and fans were among thousands and thousands who filled the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday (April 11) for his funeral as many lined nearby streets to say their final goodbye to the slain rapper.

The Grammy-nominated rapper, entrepreneur and community leader, whose real name is Ermias Asghedom, was shot and killed on March 31 in front of his Marathon Clothing store in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Los Angeles. He was 33 years old. 

Nipsey was laid to rest at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills on Friday during a private burial.

The memorial service, described as a celebration of his life, was attended by numerous celebrities who were friends of Nipsey, including Jay-Z, Beyonce, Diddy, Usher, Snoop Dog, Russell Westbrook, and more. Stevie Wonder, Marsha Ambrosius, Jhene Aiko and Anthony Hamilton performed during the celebration of life. 

Fans, who are California residents, had the opportunity to get free tickets, which were snapped up within minutes, to attend the event.

Nipsey Hussle was a hometown hero and many of us didn't know until he was gone

I never really listened to Nipsey's music until recently, and I didn't know much about the man except for the fact that he was a rapper who was recently nominated for a Grammy for 'Best Rap Album,' and I also knew he dated Lauren London. But, he was so much more...

A post shared by Lauren London (@laurenlondon) on

After seeing the outpour of support from his community, his friends, family and other celebrities, I realized: this guy was (and still is) a HUGE deal. He touched a lot of lives in a positive way. I never knew ... until now.

Former President Barack Obama even wrote a letter in tribute of Nipsey!

Nipsey was someone who was good for the culture. His community development and business strategy was very much appreciated all over the world. And, I became intrigued. So, I looked more into the man who was loved so much by many. 

The west coast hip hop legend really made a change in his Crenshaw community, and he turned his passion and talent into multiple business ventures. He started in this parking lot on the corner of Slauson and Crenshaw streets, and like many upcoming rappers, he would sell his unsigned mixtapes out of the trunk of his car.

He once sold an impressive 1,000 copies of his Crenshaw mixtape for $100 each back in 2013... a mixtape that Jay-Z bought 100 copies of! 

Nipsey eventually purchased the strip mall parking lot where he used to sell his mixtapes. The lot includes businesses, such as a basic needs store, a barbershop, a seafood restaurant, and The Marathon Clothing Store, which not only sells the rapper’s label and music but clothing as well. He was also recognized for his entrepreneurship in Forbes Magazine.

He invested in cryptocurrency, real estate, and had recently opened Vector 90, a co-working space and incubator that also served as a STEM center for youth.

I became inspired to watch some videos of Nipsey talking about his business ventures. He was truly a hustler at heart, he was very smart, and he was always willing to give back to his community. 

His Marathon store is a smart-store, as he called it "the world's first smart store." Customers can download a free app and use it to access exclusive content that can only be accessed while inside the store. It gives fans an exclusive in-store experience. How genius is that!

Nipsey has also been open about owning 100% of all the masters to his music!

At his ceremony of life memorial, Nipsey's older brother, Samiel Asghedom, gave an emotional speech and shared a story of when Nipsey was 12 years old and he built a computer!

The out pour of love continues to roll in from celebrities and fans. 
Some look at Nipsey as the millennial generation’s Tupac. Jermaine Dupri even went as far as to say he believes Nipsey was Jesus. 
Nipsey was truly a hometown hero and he never hesitated to drop knowledge, motivate and inspire others, share his business tips, and help put others on.

His goal was to leave a legacy and financial stability for his children, and he did just that. He built his own empire. He saw the value of entrepreneurship and legacy wealth-building as a way of empowering the black community.

Nipsey once said, “We playing the long game. We don’t want the money to stop when we go. When we can’t work no more. We want it to outlive us, we want it to be generational."

The marathon continues!
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