Nipsey Hussle, 33 – Rapper, activist, and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle had accomplished so much during his short time on earth. At 20 years old, Hussle was already an essential name in the SoCal rap scene for nearly 15 years. He self-released his first mixtape in 2005 called Slauson Boy Volume 1. The mixtape embodied everything he dedicated his life too; hustle and ambition. His sound defined the iconic West Coast gangsta rap of the 1990s but with an element that was undeniably his own. In 2008, Hussle released two more mixtapes that would catch the attention of music executives and help him break into the industry.
By 2013 the rapper had amassed a large following. He decided to take his career into his own hands after splitting from Epic Records. Even back then, the rapper preached the importance of ownership in the industry and self-independence. It was during those years of Nipsey selling his mixtape for $100 dollars out of the back of his minivan that Jay-Z would find him, and buy a 100 copies of his own. The rest was history.
In addition to receiving a Grammy nomination, the rapper held community outreach support programs for youth in LA, focusing on the importance of science and tech-centered learning. He opened his iconic Marathon clothing store in 2019 to promote commerce in his neighborhood and even on the day of his death, he was expected to attend a meeting with the LA police department addressing gang violence. The rapper passed in March of last year when he was fatally shot in front of his iconic Marathon store.