|I can't believe I am writing a pop up newsletter for you guys just two short weeks after having my baby, but this topic was simply too heart wrenching to ignore. As many of you know, when something pulls at my soul like that, I can't fight the urge to write about it. So as my baby slept, I opened the laptop and began to write. You all also know that when I do pop up newsletters, I simply write from the heart and am not too focused on making articulation the key of the message, but more so the topic the key of the message. And of course, this pop up newsletter does not replace the newsletter on colorism later this month (hopefully I can stay on track with sending out my newsletter on time with a newborn).
For those of you who don't know, Nipsey Hussle (in photo above) was a rapper from South Central LA. Unfortunately, he was murdered yesterday in front of his clothing store. I will not pretend that I was this huge over the top fan of his; but I will not deny that I knew his music, listened to his music at times, and less than a year ago I took my husband to see him in concert as a birthday gift. Nipsey was one of those rappers whose musical style didn't cause a fuss in the car with me and my husband. I enjoyed his music, his flow was soothing, he spoke the truth, and he remained very true to his hood.
This is something that made me initially interested in his music. He remained true to his hood. Nipsey never pretended to not be from the hood, and he never denied his past life of being involved in a gang. In interviews I admired his hood swag, he didn't talk proper or change his demeanor, and his high intelligence and influence was evident. He talked about the road to being an entrepreneur, how to properly invest money, and how to value yourself and the work you do. So why am I writing about him in my cultural newsletter? Because he was an example of Black excellence in my opinion.
Yes, he rapped about drugs, gangs, and violence (as do many rappers), but he also rapped about cultural awareness and how to better ourselves. I always say that people shouldn't turn their noses up at rappers, because in between the curse words and vulgar lyrics, there is often a message to the Black community. Nipsey did a lot for the community, he didn't just rap. He had a clothing store within his community, was working with the police to try and stop gang violence, invested in property, and created a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program to assist urban youth. Nipsey also was a partner to Lauren London (actress), whom he had children with. He was simply an upstanding guy, doing upstanding things in the Black community, so this has hit our community hard.
For me, it feels similar to when we lost Tupac years ago. It was a shock to the soul for many Black people, because Tupac also talked about real issues that the Black community faced. Issues that are still present today. This is the same scenario with Nipsy Hussle. As a community we are shocked at this loss. And even if you aren't a die hard fan, even if you don't know his music, it simply takes you looking at one interview, or hearing one song, to realize this man was doing something wonderful. Something honorable. Something needed in the Black community. For him to be killed in such a horrendous way is heartbreaking, tragic, and a true loss. So I guess the point of this newsletter is to simply honor the life of a rapper, a Black man, father, partner, and son. A black man people may have not paid attention to, but a Black man that many Black people respected and look up to. Rest in peace Nipsy Hussle, this newsletter is a "dedication" to you. Until later this month. . .