Nipsey Hussle was posthumously awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on what would be the rapper’s 37th birthday.
Hundreds gathered on Hollywood Boulevard Monday to attend the ceremony, in which Hussle’s grandmother, Margaret Boutte, accepted the star on behalf of the family. Hussle’s sister, Samantha Smith, along with Hussle’s longtime girlfriend, Lauren London, also attended and offered remarks at the midday event, according to NBC Los Angeles.
“I think I speak for the entire city of L.A. when I say that we’ve always known Hussle was destined for greatness,” London said. “This moment only amplifies this for us. Nip would’ve been honored by this moment.”
Smith, meanwhile, shared how proud she was of her brother.
“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,” Smith said. “You’ve affected the lives of so many in the realist ways — the realist ways, the realist ways. You’ve been a pillar in our family, in the community.”
Born Ermias Joseph Asghedom in the neighborhood of Crenshaw, Hussle rose from the streets of southern Los Angeles as a gang member to become one of the most influential and respected rappers of his time. He implemented various efforts to help revitalize the South Los Angeles community and to help others stay away from a life of crime. As a community leader, he bought shoes for students, repaved basketball courts and provided jobs and shelter for the homeless. Nipsey was also involved in the creation of Vector90, a co-working space aimed to help build underrepresented entrepreneurs.
In June 2017, Hussle launched the Marathon Clothing Store as another way to help the local Los Angeles neighborhood. On March 31, 2019, he was shot dead at 33 in the parking lot of the Marathon Clothing Store by Eric R. Holder. After his death, the rapper was mourned by thousands at a public funeral held at the Los Angeles Staples Center. Last month, jurors found Holder guilty of first-degree murder.
During the Walk of Fame ceremony, Hussle’s family posed with a photo of him dressed in a red track suit, remembering his legacy.
“He lives forever,’’ Boutte said. “And I look at his picture and remember all the wonderful times we had together. Nipsey, I love you, I miss you, but you’re close at heart always.”
Claretta Bellamy is a fellow for NBC News.