In the first interview since the tragic and untimely death of Nipsey Hussle, real name Ermias Asghedom, his older brother, Samiel Asghedom, spoke with ABC News on the ascension of Nipsey’s legacy, public and social benevolence and the Victory Lap rapper’s ascent to lionhearted philanthropy as a young Black boy from L.A.’s unrelenting Slauson Avenue neighborhood.
ABC News spoke to Asghedom in a phone interview where the site describes his voice “filled with raw emotion and quivering with grief” as he shared eulogizing thoughts on his little brother. Nipsey took on many roles in the lives of all those he touched, Asghedom began: “He was a brother, a musician, an entrepreneur, a people’s champ,” he said. “"He was somebody that believed in the process of hard work, determination and just the positivity of somebody staying in the area that he grew up in and making something out of nothing.”
"... He was a role model to the community, to the kids, and to the mothers and the grandmothers and the community that watched him grow up and seen him as a youngster, [and now] a family man, a father, raising his kids,” he said. That would explain the hundreds of faces who showed up and paid respect at Nipsey’s first memorial after his death in front of his Marathon Clothing store. Asghedom remembers several faces showing up to show support and “see what a youngster from the area did on his own with no help.”
Though he’s a few years older than Nipsey, Asghedom also recollected the challenges and obstacles his younger brother faced before reaching such a broad platform. From issues with the police to hood politics to hood hostility, he saluted his brother for pulling himself up by his bootstraps. “He transcended everything and just stayed there and became a beacon of light,” Asghedom acknowledged of Nipsey’s ascension.
Several people questioned why the “Hussle & Motivate” rapper stayed in the area to rebuild and rehabilitate, Asghedom reportedly told ABC News. "But he was murdered while he was in a parking lot, hanging out, selling CDs, and that’s the area that he felt attached to and did everything in the area and ended up buying a lot and rehabilitating, opening up businesses and just became a landmark for everybody.”
Additionally, Nipsey owned a healthy amount of business to carry out his mission of restitution for his community. Along with the Marathon Clothing store, he also owned the co-working Vector 90 space reserved for Black entrepreneurship, a barbershop, a hair store, the Wireless Connection cell phone shop, two restaurants and a Fatburger partnership. “All Money in Records” and Marathon Studios also had Nipsey’s ownership imprints on them.
“I was trying to make sure that he’s safe and that he’s legitimate and doing something positive, and that was my whole goal. You know, at the end of the day, he’s the one who actually made me have something legitimate to be able to attach myself to. It's hard that he was killed, man. It’s hard."
Join BET in keeping the family, friends, fans and community of Nipsey Hussle lifted in prayer and see Uproxx’s documentary chronicling one of his most notable Husslenomics ventures, Marathon Clothing.
(Photos from left: Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic, YouTube/Uproxx)