Hussle receives star on his 37th birthday
Nipsey Hussle – Los Angeles native and favorite son, Grammy-Award winning artist, community activist and entrepreneur – received the 2,729th star August 15, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The honor is a bittersweet moment for Hussle’s family, friends, and fans as the painful loss remain fresh in the hearts and minds of those who loved him and his legions of fans across the world, but especially here in the city of Angels.
Hussle received the star posthumously on what would have been his 37th birthday as the crowd sang a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to the hometown boy from Slauson.
A rap virtuoso, Hussle founded his record label, All Money In, in 2010. His trilogy, “Bullets Ain’t Got No Name,” was hailed one of XXL’s “100 Best Mixtapes of 2010.” In 2011, Hussle released “The Marathon Continues,” followed by “Crenshaw” in 2013.
He cemented his place in rap lore, selling 1000 1st– edition “Crenshaw” mixtapes for $100 each. Hussle would go on to top that feat by offering “Mailbox Money” – 100 copies for $1000 each. In 2016, he released Slauson Boy 2 and teamed with rapper YG on the hot single, “FDT (F*** Donald Trump),” a record the Los Angeles Times called “the most prophetic, wrathful and unifying protest song of 2016.”
In 2019, Hussle released “Victory Lap,” a Grammy-nominated album for best rap. Hussle would receive posthumous Grammys for Best Rap Performance, “Racks in the Middle,” and Best Rap/Sung – “Higher” in 2020.
Born Ermias Joseph Asghedom on August 15, 1985, in South Los Angeles, Hussle stayed true to the community he loved, pouring his resources into revitalizing the Crenshaw area. President Barack Obama said in a letter read during his homegoing service, “While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and saw only gangs, bullets, and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him always to keep going.”
Hussle was known for providing jobs, shelter, clothing, revitalizing basketball courts, a roller rink, and the redevelopment of a strip mall that housed his Marathon Clothing store, all in the heart of Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue. At the time of his death, Hussle, a former gang member, had planned to speak with the LAPD, advocating solutions for curbing gun violence.
He was also a staunch STEM advocate for Black and Brown kids. “I think I speak for the entire city of L.A. when I say that we’ve always known Hussle was destined for greatness. This moment only amplifies that for us. Nip would’ve been honored by this moment,” said Lauren London, 37, Hussle’s life partner.
Hussle’s children, his daughter, Emani, 13, and his son, Kross Ermias, 5, who is his father’s spitting image, were in attendance.
Accepting the star on behalf of the Hussle family, Margaret Boutte, Hussle’s 91-year-old grandmother, spoke of his kindness and the enduring love that she has for him. Hussle’s sister, Samantha Smith, 33, called the moment bittersweet.
“Nip the Great, look at who you are, look at what you did. I’m in awe, but I’m not surprised. You’ve been a star in my eyes, the family’s eyes, God’s eyes, far before the accolades caught up,” she said.
Hussle’s father, Dawit Asghedom, 68, thanked the community for the outpouring of love shown to his family. Attending the ceremony were Big Boy, NBA stars Isiah Thomas and Russell Westbrook, and rappers Roddy Ricch and YG.
Speaking on behalf of the Los Angeles City Council, Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson declared August 15th as Nipsey Hussle Day in the city of Los Angeles.
In her closing remarks, London said that she hoped that Hussle’s star would inspire others, “So whenever you’re in the city of angels, and you see this star, I hope that it encourages you to break away from whatever might be holding you back, and for you to run your marathon until God says that it’s finished.”