I wake up early every day. I awoke a half hour even earlier than usual today, with a weird feeling of anxiety over me.
I lay in bed for a minute or two, scanning my brain for anything important that I may have forgotten or should have top-of-mind for the day. I couldn’t pinpoint anything.
My subconscious never lies to me though. Something is up.
Twenty minutes later I opened Instagram to post my morning signature shot to my Story. I don’t scroll timelines, check notifications or DMs when I open IG in the morning. I did see the top post on my timeline, though, from Puff Daddy. It was a short video of Puff with rapper Nipsey Hussle, and Nipsey explaining to Puff exactly where he’s from.
The video itself wasn’t noteworthy to me; I knew the two had worked together on Nip’s latest album Victory Lap. Puff had tagged Nipsey’s IG in the caption, along with a heart emoji. Showing love.
Nothing unusual about that.
I did my Story post, then looked at Puff’s video again. There were no words in the caption, just the tag of Nipsey and that heart emoji.
Then I noticed that the emoji wasn’t a regular heart. It was a broken heart.
I scrolled a few comments to the post and saw more broken hearts. Someone said “he will be missed.”
No fuckin way.
I opened the Google app and tapped the search bar to see the current trending topics.
Nipsey Hussle was the top topic.
I tapped his name and the worst case scenario stared me in the face.
I first discovered Nipsey’s music by way of his 2013 mixtape Crenshaw. I saw him perform once in Miami. What most made me fuck with Nipsey was the fact that this man was —
- About ownership. Owning your work, investing in yourself, and not handing your power over to any company.
- The Marathon. The Marathon (Continues) was to Nipsey Hussle was Work On Your Game is to Dre Baldwin. He named some of his work and companies after it. Everyone who used the phrase had to mention Nip when they did. He’d branded it in people’s minds, if not on paper (which I’m sure he also did). Nipsey was about success in the long run, not just looking good for now.
- Taking control of your destiny. Nipsey came from the streets and made himself into a legit businessman. Many times, I heard him speak on the value of personal development, understanding the energy of the universe, and self-educating. While he wasn’t the first nor the last to take interest in such topics, his street credibility and popular-rapper status helped bring those ideas more to the masses.
He will be missed.