As we are now approaching the end of 2019, I look back on the year and can’t help but think of the one and only Nipsey Hussle who passed away earlier this year in Los Angeles. Nipsey Hussle revolutionized the music industry over the past ten years and became as well known for his community service and business ventures as he did for his music.
The South Los Angeles Crenshaw native was an entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist dedicated to supporting the youth and the black community, especially where he grew up. It wasn’t always an easy, straight path for Nipsey to reach a point of acclaim in his career though. While growing up in Crenshaw, Nipsey was surrounded by drugs and the influence of street gangs. He eventually became a member of the Rollin’60s Crips and was faced with a life changing decision: to continue to stay in the streets and embrace the gang life or rise up and better not only himself but the people and community around him.
Nipsey made the decision to invest in himself by putting his all in his music career. As his music career began to take off and his pockets began to grow, he was willing to do whatever he could to pour money and resources back into his community. Ultimately, Nipsey chose not to settle on a gang lifestyle that proved to be more comfortable to him by his upbringing but instead to move forward with his music that would benefit more than him alone. Eventually, his success in music would allow him to open the Marathon Clothing store as well as other business ventures that provided opportunities for the people in his community.
At many points in our lives, we are faced with uncertainties and how we respond and move forward defines our character. Nipsey may have been uncertain about the possibility of making music a reliable revenue stream but he didn’t give up until he was able to see it through. That takes a great deal of drive and ambition. His story also tells us that our past doesn’t have to shape our future. In other words, we can still have an impact on our own life and others around us despite the hand we are dealt. So just like Nipsey Hussle keep your head up, stick your chest out and move forward because the Marathon Continues.