The Grammy-nominated rhymesmith, a member of the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips, had requested the meeting, along with Jay-Z's Roc Nation, the commissioner said. The reason? They wanted to speak with Soboroff and Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore "about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids," Soboroff tweeted. "I'm so very sad."Anyone familiar with Nipsey's woke brand of gangbanging wasn't surprised. While Crips and Bloods have provided great gangland fodder for Hollywood and other storytellers, Nipsey bucked the conventional trappings of gang life. He spoke out against rappers who would boast of purported gang affiliations to stunt or look cool — not because he wished them any violence, but rather, to remind them that for too many young people, joining a gang was about survival. People had died over the colors they'd chosen. It wasn't something to dabble in, Nipsey would remind them.

Legacy of bridge building

Yet for his unabashed affiliation, the 33-year-old worked to pave inroads, recording tracks with Blood-affiliated rappers The Game and YG of Compton and Jay Rock of Watts. When Nipsey dropped his long-awaited studio debut last year, The Game posted the cover to Instagram, along with his recollection of the first time the two met. "Never thought the young n***a that gave me his demo on Crenshaw at a red light would ever turn out to be one of my favorite West Coast MC's…. just like I told you that day when you handed it to me n***a, 'if you want it it's yours'…. proud of you homie."Two days prior, when Cardi B caught flak for a Blood reference in an Instagram post, Nipsey came to her defense during an interview on a Los Angeles radio show, saying that there were certain things that Bloods and Crips might say to each other in private that they shouldn't say in public or in a song. "She should probably just correct, go public, and say, 'Look, this is how Bloods talk privately. We ain't mean no disrespect,'" he said. "That's a touchy thing. That's a delicate thing, and you gotta understand people are gonna be offended when you do that. You gotta know: L.A. — this our culture. This is our lifestyle. This ain't aesthetic or fashion. You know, your granny'll tell you change the color of your shoestrings before you get out of the car."Upon Nipsey's death, the "Bodak Yellow" rapper was among scores of entertainers posting tributes to him. "Rip to a real stand up guy! a great representation of positivity and change to the community," Cardi B wrote on Instagram. "May the Lord give your family strength. You can't kill love and you can't kill respect."In one of his final tweets Friday, Nipsey posted a photo of himself in a denim jacket adorned with both red and blue kerchiefs, like those worn by the rival gangs, and in his last post, just hours before he was killed, he said, "Having strong enemies is a blessing."

Product of Crenshaw

It's poignant that Nipsey died after being shot in the head and torso in the parking lot of The Marathon Clothing "smartstore" he owned near the corner of Slauson and Crenshaw. The dark amalgam of circumstances seems to encapsulate much about his life. True to his art and his city, Nipsey regularly invoked his upbringing, beginning with his 2005 mixtape, "Slauson Boy Volume 1," and continuing through the eerily named three-volume "Bullets Ain't Got No Name." He dubbed his eighth mixtape, released in 2013, "Crenshaw," and priced it at $100 a pop. Jay-Z picked up a 100 of the 1,000 available copies. "I got an email that came through my team and it just was like, 'Roc Nation, on behalf of Jay Z wants to buy 100 units. Who do we pay? When can we get the shipment out?'" he told MTV News at the time. "They sent us $10,000. We sent them 100 CDs. … I didn't get the chance to holler at Jay, but through his people he made it clear that he respects the move and everything, so I was just humbled by it."Don't be fooled by the term "studio debut." Nipsey collaborated with the likes of Drake, Meek Mill and Rick Ross well before Atlantic Records published his acclaimed "Victory Lap" last year, earning him a Grammy nomination for best rap album (the prize went to Cardi B). For a decade and a half, Nip compiled a thick catalog of music, which he released on mixtapes he produced independently or through his All Money In record label, which he launched to maintain his creative freedom, he said. Though some music websites classify Nipsey's music as gangsta rap, his music spans multiple hip-hop genres, including the g-funk, or gangsta funk, sound of Dr. Dre fame that was ubiquitous to the streets of the Crenshaw District where Nipsey grew up in the 1990s. His lyrics did not fit into tidy genres, either. While he employed the bombast and braggadocio common to gangsta and other forms of rap, he also dealt in introspection a la the so-called conscious rappers such as Chance the Rapper and Talib Kweli. Nipsey Hussle and YG perform during an August event in Los Angeles. That was perhaps most apparent on the "Victory Lap" track, "Dedication," a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, who himself has united Bloods and Crips through no less than his Top Dawg Entertainment. On the track, Nipsey rhymes, "Young black n***a trapped and he can't change it/Know he a genius, he just can't claim it/'Cuz they left him no platforms to explain it/He frustrated so he get faded, but deep down inside he know you can't fade him/How long should I stay dedicated? How long till opportunity meet preparation?/I need some real n***a reparations before I run up in your bank just for recreation."

A father and a businessman

Though he is best known for his music, he was a father as well — to son, Kross, 2, with actor and longtime girlfriend Lauren London, and to daughter Emani from a previous relationship. Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London attend a pre-Grammy party in Los Angeles on February 7. As his moniker, sometimes stylized as Hu$$le, suggests, the Eritrean-American rapper born Ermias Davidson Asghedom was also an accomplished businessman. His ventures spanned from his music label and The Marathon Clothing store, to his Marathon Agency, a talent and marketing company, and his Proud 2 Pay campaign, a trailblazing means to distribute his music. Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London, a hip-hop fairytaleAfter failing to find a way to work with Epic Records, which released him in 2010, he tapped his wealth of social media followers — which today number in the millions — for the campaign, selling the aforementioned "Crenshaw" for a $100 apiece and 100 copies of his "Mailbox Money" mixtape for $1,000 each in a scheme that guaranteed a host of perks for buyers, including hearing "Victory Lap" for the first time with Nipsey himself. In 2013, he explained in a short YouTube documentary that he was aiming to upend a system in which controlling record labels acted as gatekeepers for young creatives trying to make names for themselves. "What else is n***as playing for if they don't want the ring or the crown? Labels know that, and they making it like the only way to that is through them," he said. "We got power, we got the internet, we got our people, and a n***a gonna shut down (the) industry, man. … I'm Netflix. They're Blockbusters, know what I'm saying? … Netflix shut their business down. It's over. They're bankrupt. It's a wrap. When's the last time you rented a video, bro?"Nipsey Hussle performs at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in June. When he finally did ink the deal with Atlantic in 2017, Read More – Source

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