Saint Lucians were not immune to the impact of the death of popular American Hip Hop icon Nipsey Hussle, who was gunned down this week. Since Sunday, when he was shot in his hometown of Los Angeles California, the world’s attention has been focused on the tragedy. The Grammy-nominated rapper and community advocate was on his way to the top, with a sort of humility and wisdom that set him apart from the crowd. His focus was on black power, economic advancement for black people, and he also advocated for ownership and entrepreneurship among artistes.
All sorts of conspiracy theories surfaced in the aftermath of the rapper’s death, including Dr. Sebi related theories and explanations rooted in government interference. As the real story unfolded, most of the theories were debunked, and black on black crime was once again in focus. Celebrities the world over paid tribute to Nipsey, as did regular people, many of whom were from his own community. None could believe that a person who had made helping others their life’s work could be taken away so tragically. Many, including his bodyguard who was off duty at the time of the incident, said they would have happily traded places with the rapper who left behind his girlfriend Lauren London and two children; Lauren’s daughter from a previous relationship and their three-year-old son.
Numerous questions were raised in light of the rapper’s demise. Conversations were centred on whether things would have been different had the rapper not made a decision to live and invest in his hometown. Was it really not possible for a person to continue to reside in the place where they had grown up after reaching a certain level of success? He was shot right in front of his Marathon clothing store, allegedly by someone he knew well, a man called Eric Holder. More information has come out since the incident, which has pointed to a previous interaction between Holder and Hussle, in which the latter called the former a snitch and asked him to leave his store. Holder reportedly returned and later shot Nipsey, resulting in his death.
There are many lessons that came out of the recent incident, but none more apparent than the fragility of the male ego. So many times, even right here on island, disputes have occurred, after which one person leaves only to return later with a weapon bent on causing more harm. These incidents typically involve males, and the premeditated retaliation can usually be linked to rage, embarrassment, or a combination of the two. In 2016, a tragic incident which occurred during Labour Day carnival in New York City gripped the attention of the world when a college student was shot in the face by man she did not want to dance with. She lost her life as a result.
As the Nipsey Hussle story continues to evolve, it forces so many of us to take a closer look at ourselves and the way we live. It forces us to pay more attention to the empowerment of self, and it also begs us to place more value on human life. In this case, Nipsey wasn’t just another name and face wiped off the face of the earth as a result of senseless violence, he was a well-known figure who actively made a point of touching the lives of many, and he was loved.
Holder, who was considered armed and dangerous in the hours and days following Nipsey’s death, was arrested on Tuesday.