What You Need to Know Nipsey Hussle

Who is Nipsey Hussle, rapper shot dead at 33?

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Here are five things to know about Hussle: 

1. Hussle developed the smart store concept

Marathon Clothing store opened June 17, 2017. Hussle called it a “smart store.” It was a retail destination where fans could buy merchandise and preview exclusive content from the rapper through an app that worked in the store.

The store was co-owned by Adam Andebrhan and Stephen Donelson. Hussle had grand plans to roll out versions of it across the country. 

“This is us trying to disrupt retail, create a theme park for the brand. This is us trying to create a retail network to become vertically integrated,” Hussle told Billboard. “This is us trying to superserve the core with an upgraded experience. This is us trying to fuse hip-hop, fashion and tech.”

2. Hussle was a prolific marketer 

He started a grassroots campaign in 2013 called Proud 2 Pay to sell his mixtape “Crenshaw” for $100 each album. It sparked Jay-Z to purchase 100 copies and led to Hussle selling out the 1,000-album inventory in less than 24 hours, making $100,000, according to Billboard

3. Hussle overcame life in a street gang when he was younger 

Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was from South Los Angeles. He was in a street gang in the early 1990s when he was younger but developed a love of music and technology, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I grew up in gang culture," he told the Times in 2018. "We dealt with death, with murder. It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it. I guess they call it post-traumatic stress, when you have people that have been at war for such a long time. I think LA suffers from that because it's not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while."

4. Hussle was a well-known community organizer

He was involved in the Destination Crenshaw arts project. He also was involved with opening Vector 90, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics centric work space in the hard-scrabble Crenshaw neighborhood, according to the Times. 

"Growing up as a kid, I was looking for somebody — not to give me anything — but somebody that cared," Hussle told the Times in 2018. "Someone that was creating the potential for change and that had an agenda outside of their own self-interests."

5. Hussle’s major label debut, “Victory Lap,” debuted at No. 4

“Victory Lap,” the first of a multialbum deal with Atlantic Records, saw immediate success, landing at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart when it debuted, the Times reported. It featured artists YG, Puff Daddy and Kendrick Lamar. 

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