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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

Congressional Record Text Honoring Nipsey Hussle

April 10, 2019
Blog Post
The following language was submitted into the Congressional Record by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) on April 10, 2019.

HONORING THE LEGACY OF ERMIAS JOSEPH ASGHEDOM,

KNOWN ALSO AS NIPSEY HUSSLE,

AND HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO SOUTH LOS ANGELES

Madam Speaker, may this entry serve as enduring recognition of the legacy lived and left by Ermias Joseph Asghedom, known to his community and the neighborhoods of South Los Angeles and beyond, as Nipsey Hussle.

Nipsey Hussle was born in the Hyde Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles in 1985. His father was the only member of his own family in Eritrea to move to the United States, where he met Nipsey Hussle’s mother. As a teen, Nipsey attended Alexander Hamilton High School, as did I, as did many in South Los Angeles. He went on to pursue a music career that would touch millions, culminating in national recognition for his studio album “Victory Lap”.

An innovator, entrepreneur and community investor, Nipsey Hussle used the platform he created with his music to further demonstrate not only his business savvy, but his love and pride for where he came from in addition to showing the importance of community ownership and reinvestment. In the same way he went from selling mixtapes on the corner of Crenshaw and Slauson to owning the masters of his GRAMMY-nominated album, Nipsey Hussle went from trademarking his clothing line, to owning the stores selling his trademarked clothing line, to owning the shopping plaza where the store selling his clothing line was located.

Marathon Clothing is a technologically ground-breaking store that could have been opened anywhere. Nipsey Hussle opened it on Slauson and Crenshaw. South Los Angeles was where he invested; opening a barbershop and two restaurants in that same intersection, reopening the World on Wheels skating rink in Mid-City, and partnering with Vector 90, one of the first work spaces and incubators in South L.A. designed to support black and brown entrepreneurship locally. He also worked with the Los Angeles City Council on Destination Crenshaw, a project to be built for, by, and in honor of our community in celebration of the historical and contemporary contributions of Black L.A. and the Crenshaw community.

Throughout his projects, Nipsey Hussle brought the neighborhood with him. In working to ensure that the community was knowledgeable about their economic power, Nipsey Hussle made sure to give jobs to residents in the neighborhood who were struggling, some of which were homeless and formerly incarcerated. He once provided a pair of shoes to every student at 59th Street Elementary School and also donated to renovate the school’s playground and basketball courts. He inspired many others in the entertainment industry to actively invest in South Los Angeles neighborhoods as well.

A humble visionary, Nipsey Hussle initiated peace in a community where experiences of systematic injustices appear in the form of police brutality and gang violence. He saw the overlooked and welcomed the dismissed. He was an activist working to reduce gun violence in the community, hosting demonstrations and symposiums over the years. He was slated to meet with the Los Angeles Police Department about reducing gun violence in the community the day after he was murdered.

He taught and reminded our community that the power we hold is the power we come from and that awareness of our power is something no one can take from us.

Nipsey Hussle will be remembered as a visionary, as a protector, as an inspiration, as a philanthropist, as a father, as a brother and as an unabashed son of South Los Angeles. For all he was given, he gave back. And for that legacy, South Los Angeles has been changed forever. 

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You can read the text in Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 62 as well.

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