Nipsey Hussle had a winnin' vision that included more than just a "W" for himself and his home team. It included his hometown.
Last month, Jay-Z rapped about the late hip hop philanthropist by saying, “Gentrify your own ’hood, before these people do it. Claim eminent domain and have your people movin’. That's a small glimpse into what Nipsey was doing.”
However, the receipts of Hussle's efforts to rehabilitate the hood extend far beyond rap bars. While Jay-Z was hip to Nip's efforts to "buy back the block," Nipsey, real name Ermias Asghedom, was working with several public figures to make his dreams a reality.
Recently Hussle's former business partner, real estate developer David Gross, opened up about about the late rapper's efforts to to change the economic status of Black neighborhoods, starting with his hometown of Crenshaw and Slauson.
“He wanted to be a symbol and really spark a movement. Basically, it was the economic version of Black Lives Matter. [That] is what we were trying to create," Gross said of Nipsey in a recent interview with the LA Times.
Together, Gross and Hussle had planned to meet with Rep. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina to discuss the rollout of "Our Opportunity," an investment fund created by the late rapper and Gross, who also grew up in South LA, prior to Nip's untimely death. The foundation's mission was to work with the individual hometown heroes “of every large, majority black city to, in a systematic way, acquire and develop transformative projects,” Gross said.
Three years ago, The Marathon rapper set out to start an inner-city investment fund with Gross. One of their first projects was Vector 90, a co-working space and STEM center, that has been successful, despite those that doubted its success.
According to the publication, during his last months on earth, Hussle and Gross planned to build upon the L-shape strip mall — which is also home of the Marathon Clothing store. The two bought the property back in January, with plans of building 80 units of apartments and condos on top of shops with healthy food options. Their goal was to make their neighbors their business partners. They were going to set aside 20% of the housing units for residents of the neighborhood, and invest with them so they could own their homes, Gross added.
“I was excited when I learned of his interest in 'Opportunity Zones,' and I’m saddened that we will never get to discuss our plans and vision for what this initiative could do to partner with and strengthen Nipsey’s already amazing efforts," Senator Scott said in a written statement obtained by the LA Times.
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