Nipsey Hussle has died after being shot outside his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon (March 31), according to the Los Angeles Times and NBC and later confirmed by the city’s mayor. He was 33.
Billboard has reached out to Nipsey’s reps for confirmation of the report.
Two others were also shot before the suspect fled, a source at the LAPD tells Billboard. Though law enforcement officials could not immediately release names, they confirmed the two other victims are in stable condition. A statement on the LAPD HQ Twitter account reads: “At approximately 3:20 pm there was a shooting reported in the area of Slauson Ave and Crenshaw Blvd. 3 victims were transported to a local hospital where one was pronounced deceased. We have no suspect info at this time and will provide more details as they become available.”
However, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed the news on his Twitter account Sunday night: “Our hearts are with the loved ones of Nipsey Hussle and everyone touched by this awful tragedy. L.A. is hurt deeply each time a young life is lost to senseless gun violence. My Crisis Response Team is assisting the families coping with shock and grief.”
Our hearts are with the loved ones of Nipsey Hussle and everyone touched by this awful tragedy. L.A. is hurt deeply each time a young life is lost to senseless gun violence. My Crisis Response Team is assisting the families coping with shock and grief.
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) April 1, 2019
Police closed off the area while the investigation continues.
Late Sunday night, Atlantic Records paid tribute to the late artist. “Words cannot express our sadness. Nipsey was not only one of the greatest artists we worked with but an amazing father and leader in his community,” a statement reads. “One of the kindest and brightest stars in the universe, he was inspiring to all. We will miss him, his music and everything he stood for. Our deepest sympathy, love and prayers go out to his family. May Nipsey Hussle Rest in Peace.”
In an earlier press conference, the LAPD said the investigation is being handled as a homicide and that there is one male black suspect.
Just before the shooting, Nipsey had tweeted, “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”
The rapper, born Ermias Ashedom, opened his L.A. store in 2017. He released his acclaimed and Grammy-nominated debut full-length album, Victory Lap, in 2018. He performed at Warner Music Group’s Grammy party in downtown L.A. in February 2019, with WMG owner Len Blavatnik among the partygoers closest to the stage.
Victory Lap debuted and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200. He appeared on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart three times, with Crenshaw (No. 61, 2013), Mailbox Money (No. 18, 2015) and Victory Lap (No. 3, 2018). His songs — including 2010’s hit collaboration with Lloyd, “Feelin’ Myself” — generated 832 million on-demand streams.
“I just think the amount of life, the amount of narrative, the amount of truth, the amount of pieces of somebody’s life stories that went into Victory Lap is one of the reasons why my album is the best rap album of 2018,” he told Billboard in December. “I wasn’t trying to make the album of the year, I was just trying to make something that would stand the test of time.”