Jay-Z dedicated a portion of his performance at a concert in New York City on Friday to Nipsey Hussle, by honoring the slain rapper’s legacy and commitment to his community.
Hussle’s efforts to revitalize the South LA neighborhood he grew up in inspired Jay-Z to remember Hussle during the music mogul’s performance at Webster Hall located in the East Village:
“Gentrify your own hood, before these people do it/ Claim eminent domain and have your people move in/ That’s a small glimpse into what Nipsey was doing/ For anybody still confused as to what he was doing,” a BET video showed Jay-Z rapping.
Hussle, who founded brand and clothing store called The Marathon Clothing, nestled in a strip mall near Crenshaw Boulevard, has been widely recognized for his efforts to redevelop the Crenshaw neighborhood.
Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson has publicly celebrated Hussle for his leadership with Destination Crenshaw, a project aimed at honoring black culture, history and art in the Crenshaw community.
Harris-Dawson entered a motion earlier this month to have the intersection of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard named after Hussle. On April 12, he announced on social media that the LA City Council voted unanimously to name the intersection “Nipsey Hussle Square.”
The Grammy-nominated rapper, born Ermias Asghedom, was fatally shot outside his clothing store on March 31. Hussle’s fans, loved ones and a number of public figures have since publicly mourned his death.
During Jay-Z’s freestyle, which he segued into after performing his 2002 song “Some How, Some Way,” he referenced Hussle being killed in his own community.
“I told Neighborhood Nip stay close/ There’s a hundred million dollars on your schedule, lay low… I never dreamed he’d get killed in a place that he called home.”
In 2013, Hussle told MTV News that Jay-Z had reached out to purchase 100 copies of the independent rapper’s mixtape priced at $100 a piece.
“I got a DM on Twitter from a respected hip-hop journalist, and he was just like, ‘Hov respects the move, salute,’” Hussle told the publication.
He added, “A little while later, I got an email from my team – that came through my team and it just was like, ‘Roc Nation, on behalf of Jay Z wants to buy 100 units.’”