Nipsey Hussle's fans, prior to his death, were already well aware of his impeccable pen game. However, many didn't know that he was a talented wordsmith long before he became a hip hop icon.
Mere days after the rapper was murdered in South Los Angeles, poems and short stories dating back to his elementary school days began surfacing online. The person behind the sudden trip down memory lane claims to be a former classmate of Nipsey's — real name Ermias Asghedom.
Going by the Twitter handle @TrashBoyLA, the Twitter user, who asked to be identified as David, explained that he and Nip were once childhood friends, but unfortunately lost touch.
"So it turns out that @NipseyHussle was my friend Ermias from elementary school," his first tweet read. "Sad we lost touch and even sadder to learn of his tragic passing. Here are some yearbook pics and a short essay he wrote on the meaning of friendship at age 9."
David shared that they were both enrolled at The Open School before posting photos of pages from an old yearbook where Nipsey's early work was published.
After receiving some expected questions of doubt, David attempted to prove that his posts were legit by uploading a video showing one of the pages he previously shared. He sealed it off by showing the cover of the school yearbook, which dated back to 1995.
Reminiscing on his early friendship with young Nipsey, David shared that they were in the same grade and were at The Open School — renamed The Open Charter School — for a total of five years.
"I think we were in 2nd or 3rd grade," he told Complex. "It was one of the first charter schools in L.A., I'm told. Before they became weird and kind of scammy. It was kind of a Montessori school, where reading and writing and critical thought were really encouraged."
Despite David's admiration of his former childhood friend and classmate, he admitted that their relationship did not last as the last time he spoke with the rapper was at their fifth grade graduation.
"I would think about him from time to time as just a nice sweet, smart kid I used to know," he said, before expressing his shock at hearing he was fatally shot. "I just didn't realize it was the same person, to be honest. It was only when I heard the name Ermias that my ears perked up. And I thought he kinda looked like Ermias. And I spoke to my grade school friend who also knew him, and he confirmed he looked like him."
He added that it wasn't until he went through their old Open School yearbook that his suspicions were confirmed.
As previously reported, Nipsey was fatally shot outside his Marathon Clothing store in the Hyde Park neighborhood. His alleged gunman, Eric Holder, 29, has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. He faces up to life in prison if convicted on all charges.
(Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for PUMA)