It still doesn’t seem real. There isn’t enough skin left on my body to pinch; as the reality of your passing continues to settle in, the harrowing reality of a world without Nipsey Hussle takes form.
How can this black superhero — the same one who used his impactful platform to benefit his community by creating job opportunities, by providing a voice for the marginalized — be taken from us at only 33-years-old? A man who had just truly begun to enjoy the fruits of his industrious labor was robbed of witnessing his admirable hustle fully materialize; his fans and family are left mourning the ruins, questioning what could have, what should have, been.
Wake up, I keep telling myself. Freddy Krueger has permeated the real world to steal an incredible man, to steal our Nipsey — a person who cared, who genuinely gave a damn.
I’m still in disbelief that the proverbial “RIP hashtag” that litters social media after the untimely passing of respected individuals is attached to your name. It simply wasn’t your time, you still had so much left to achieve.
Reading the omnipresent outpouring of affection isn’t surprising in the slightest, though — you touched so many through your inspirational music, motivational rhetoric, and powerful actions. Nipsey, you were unanimously loved and respected as much for the classics you laid down behind the booth as you were for affecting meaningful change in your community through leading by example. Empowering the disenfranchised by challenging the American entrepreneur and businessman status quo, you gave kids a role model, you gave people something and someone to believe in — you personified “hustle.”
Your resolve, positivity, and superior vision imparted consequential change that will comfort us as we continue digesting this hellish reality.
And while we were just beginning to witness the results of the plan you set in action long ago, the heavy loss of you, Nipsey, is faintly lifted by the tangible impact left in the wake of your tragic departure: an inspiring, decorated musical catalogue; improved lives of the local youths who benefited from your philanthropy; evidence that black-owned businesses can thrive and make a difference; the W-2’s for the people who you employed, who you gave a chance.
The American fiber will forever be blotched by the blood of slavery and prejudice; the modern black individual still conspicuously bears the burden of institutional racism and oppression, of trying to enter the discriminating door architected by white establishment. Nipsey, you intrepidly opened another door for the forgotten and neglected faces. The world will forever be in your debt.
Your physical essence might have prematurely vacated this Earth, but your message and soul will live on forever. Nipsey, you will be missed, memorialized, and remembered.
RIP, Nipsey. We love you.