Days after rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed outside of his clothing store last Sunday (March 31), his loved ones spoke out for the first time about his shocking death in an interview published Friday with The Los Angeles Times.
“I would like for him to be remembered as a humble, spirited, respectful man who had, since his childhood, had an extraordinary and unlimited intellectual capacity,” the rapper’s mother Angelique Smith told The Times of her son (real name Ermias Joseph Asghedom).
Smith also said that her son was always aware of his talents and “capability” that would lead him to have a successful music career. “He recognized at an early age his own capability. His own potential. He has always known.”
Despite grieving herself, Smith also said that she finds herself comforting mourners and “chasing away the spirit of fear and grief … retaliation and anger.” “I’ve been at perfect peace,” she said.
Meanwhile, Hussle’s father Dawit Asghedom said he believes his 33-year-old son’s death symbolized that he had “completed what he needed to be doing” from God’s plan.
“It was like he was sent by God to give some love to bring us together because that’s what his lyrics were saying, always. He’s not shy to tell the truth even though it might not look good. He wasn’t scared of anything. [God] sent him to send a message,” Asghedom said. “It looks like, ‘Your time is up because you have completed what I sent you to do.’ We all have a plan, but God has his own plan. So he had completed what he needed to be doing and he did it early so [God] probably want to take him early too.”
Hussle’s brother commended his brother for turning the area they grew up into a “landmark” through his activism. “There’s a lot of politics within the area that we grew up in, but he stayed the course and showed what he was about. He made something work in an area that was run-down, that people were scared to come to, and he turned it into a landmark,” said Samiel Asghedom.
Meanwhile, Hussle’s longtime girlfriend Lauren London, whom he also shares a daughter with, praised the rapper for always ensuring that “his family came first” and asserts that she will keep her “head high” amid the somber time for their family.
“He was a protector and wanted us to be our best at all times. He was a truth seeker and truth speaker.” She added: “I’m going to keep my head high and always represent for my king to the fullest. He loved his kids. He was a family man. His family came first.”
London also mourned his death in an Instagram post, where she expressed how “completely lost” she felt without her “best friend.” “I am completely lost. I’ve lost my best friend. My sanctuary. My protector. My soul….I’m lost without you We are lost without you babe. I have no words,” the actress captioned the photos.
Eric Ronald Holder, 29, of Los Angeles was arrested Tuesday following a massive manhunt after he allegedly shot and killed Hussle on Sunday afternoon in the area of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard. He was then charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. The criminal complaint also includes allegations that he personally used a firearm and caused great bodily injury and death, according to the district attorney’s office. Holder pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Holder is being defended by Christopher Darden, a former prosecutor on the 1992 O.J. Simpson murder trial, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Hussle’s death sparked sadness and outrage from the music, sports and entertainment community. Some of the biggest stars shared their heartbreak and anger via social media, including Meek Mill, Pharrell Williams, Chance the Rapper, Lebron James and Ava DuVernay, among others.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.