Nipsey Hussle was a rapper, community activist, and rising business mogul, but he was first a father, son, brother, lover and a friend.
In GQ's December/January 2019 issue, those who knew Nipsey best — including his life partner Lauren London — recalled stories of his life and detailed the legacy he left behind, in an attempt to paint a full picture of the real "Neighborhood Nip."
Read a few of their words below.
How They Met Nipsey
We met through a mutual friend, like, on the phone. Because we're both from L.A., we had a lot of friends in common. I had a couple of homegirls that had hung out with him and would come back to me like, “Oh, my God! You would really like Nip! He seems like your type!” I wasn't dating anybody at the time, or doing any of that. We met because I wanted to pick up a box of clothes he offered me after I bought a couple [copies of] Crenshaw. I pulled up to his shop on Crenshaw and Slauson, and he was like, “You want to hang out?”
So we drove around the city, and to my surprise he knew my aunt, so we pull up to my aunt's house to eat. He had called her. Later that night we drove down PCH and talked for hours. I would consider that our first date. Before that, we had talked on the phone for like eight hours, but [this] was the first time we were face-to-face. We started kicking it every day for weeks, and then I realized that we never went to dinner and had, like, a proper first date. From there, it was just…easy. It felt so natural for us to be in each other's lives.
We were both foodies. We would go to Little Ethiopia a lot and eat at Merkato. He introduced me to Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine. He loved Mexican food and anything really spicy—he would add extra jalapeños. I was always making him tacos. Always.
I met Nipsey back in '09. I told him, “I see the impact you will make on the world.” I always knew he would be bigger than just music. I saw it from the beginning.
I actually tried to sign him. I'd seen his documentary on WorldStar, and I was like, “This kid is special.”
Who Nipsey Was
He was a very gentle father. Extremely gentle. Very present.
Nip was very spontaneous. He would be like, “Boog, let’s go out of town.” And I'd go with him and no luggage. He was very fun in that way. He loved having fun. We’d wake up in the morning, and he'd be like, “Bet you won't get on a roller coaster.” We would literally just wash our faces, brush our teeth, put on sweats, and go to Magic Mountain, randomly, to get on a roller coaster and start the day.
He was always cool, calm, and collected. He wasn't really talking that much. When you come from the streets, you don't really show your emotions around new people you meet.
As I got a chance to know him, I learned he had a good heart. A pure heart. His energy was good.
He loved his people. He wanted us to be strong and on our own, and he really wanted to put that message in his music and in his interviews. Now when people YouTube him and go back, they're getting reintroduced to Nip. But Nip was always on that mission.
He's a king. He overcame all types of obstacles, changed his life around.
If you listen to every interview he did, it's incredible. Like the man was speaking and you can learn from it now and years from now.
Nipsey's legacy will be that he lived in and lived out his purpose. He did everything with purpose.
The full GQ article also includes words from, Russell Westbrook, Dom Kennedy, Nipsey's siblings Samiel Asghedom and Samantha Smith, Nipsey's father, Dawit Asghedom, and many more of his friends, business partners and collaborators. Read it HERE.
Photo: Getty Images