Revered rapper Nipsey Hussle was posthumously honored with the 2,729th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on what would have been his 37th birthday, Monday, Aug. 15.
Located at 6212 Hollywood Boulevard in front of Amoeba Music, the star was presented by the City of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the L.A. native’s contributions to music and his philanthropic work.
Paying tribute to the late rapper — born Ermias Joseph Ashegdom — were family members and close friends such as L.A. radio personality Big Boy and fellow rappers Roddy Ricch and YG.
Additional guests in attendance at the 30-minute ceremony included Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president/CEO David Michael Jerome, California Assembly member Isaac Bryant and Los Angeles City Council Member Marqueece Harris Dawson, who officially declared Aug. 15 as Nipsey Hussle Day.
Among the family members sharing their love and inspirational thoughts about Hussle and his legacy were:
Lauren London, Hussle’s girlfriend: “Nip would’ve been honored by this moment. I think he would want everyone to remember that you can’t get to what’s possible unless you commit to moving forward. That doesn’t mean forgetting where you come from, but it requires acknowledging the reality you were born into and the power you have to change that reality for the better. So whenever you’re in the City of Angels, and you see this star, I hope it encourages you to break away from whatever might be holding you back and for you to run your marathon until God says that it’s finished.”
Samantha Smith, his sister: “Hussle man, wow. Today is bittersweet, but proud is an understatement. Nip the Great, look at who you are, look at what you did. I’m in awe, but I’m not surprised. You’ve been a star in my eyes, the family’s eyes, God’s eyes far before the accolades caught up. You’ve affected the lives of so many in the realest ways. You’ve been a pillar in our family in the community, you’ve poured into me from day one and I’ve always been so amazed and impressed at the example you’ve set. I feel so blessed and grateful to call you my brother.”
Dawit Asghedom, his father: “A tragedy like Ermias’ murder can act to bring us together. I have powerful belief that even in the madness of this tragedy we must have faith, and there is a better path ahead of us. Although he was taken from us too soon, he will live in our hearts and minds forever. Ermias may be dead, but that idea of faith and hope must endure. That is the challenge my family and Nipsey’s fans [have] ahead of us: to keep his legacy going forever.”
Margaret Boutte, his grandmother: “Nipsey was the love of my life, always very respectful. I miss him, but I look at his picture and remember all the wonderful times we had together. I thank my daughter for blessing me with Nipsey and [his siblings] Sami and Samantha. I love you all. He will never be gone in my heart. He lives forever.”
Before his untimely passing on March 31, 2019, Hussle made waves as a rapper, activist and entrepreneur. He burst onto the local music scene with Slauson Boy Volume 1 and the Bullets Ain’t Got No Name mixtape series at the tail-end of the 2000s before launching his indie record label, All Money In.
In 2010, Hussle unleashed the label’s debut mixtape, The Marathon, which landed him a slot on XXL’s annual Freshman list as well as on various year-end lists. A year later saw the arrival of his second mixtape, The Marathon Continues, and 2013’s Crenshaw. The latter garnered considerable media buzz thanks to Hussle selling 1000 cassettes priced at $100 each that sold out in less than a day.
Hussle cemented his impeccable grind by signing a partnership deal with Atlantic Records in 2017 and released his major label debut album, Victory Lap, to critical acclaim the same year. It was nominated for best rap album at the Grammy Awards in 2019. While he lost that time, the father of two posthumously won two Grammys in 2020: best rap performance for “Racks in the Middle,” featuring Roddy Ricch and Hit-Boy, and best melodic rap performance for his guest appearance along with John Legend on DJ Khaled’s “Higher.”
Hussle’s philanthropic work was just as prolific as his music career. He opened his first smart store, The Marathon Clothing (TMC), in 2017 inside the market square, at L.A.’s Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue, that he frequented as a street hustler. He owned several other business ventures as well including The Marathon Agency and SC Commercial Ventures. Hussle and his team also launched The Neighborhood Nip Foundation in 2018, introducing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiatives to children from his South L.A. neighborhood. It was the first in a string of planned STEM locations in cities such as Atlanta, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.