Today is the day that Nipsey Hussle will be laid to rest and it feels like a fated ending is finally taking its last lap. Victory Lap has never been more fitting than in this instance. I was telling a friend that this blog post was difficult for me to write because the message I want to deliver is a delicate one and I want to get it right. I want to do this justice because it deserves. It’s no coincidence that 4/11 is the day that Nipsey will be celebrated. With 4 meaning justice, order and ideas taking shape and 11 meaning enlightenment and mastery, there’s a deeper lesson here for us to consider.
In life, Nipsey was a rapper/recording artist, activist, and business man. He was a son, father, lover, and friend. He was a leader. Like we all do, he did some dirt, I’m sure. Gang affiliated and street respected, but still moved in purpose. There’s no argument about what Nipsey was in life, but I’m writing this blog post today to ask those of you who choose to read it, “What will he be in death?”
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Did she really just ask that?” Yeah. I did. Assassination of black leaders/influencers is not unheard of to us. Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Fred Hampton, and even Tupac are just a few names of black male leaders/influencers that ultimately changed our culture in life and death. I dare say that Nipsey’s death has ushered in a new era of a cultural shift that inevitably will change how we move forward…. If we let it. In all these situations, the legacies left behind we’re ours to build, destroy, or maintain. The power in life was theirs, but the power in their deaths belong to us.
So again, as mourners gather to grieve the death of this man, I ask you, “What will he be in death?” My answer is “a light.” Nipsey’s physical journey may be over but his true purpose is only just now being fulfilled. As Black Americans, we are often criticized for our dismay about how we came to this country and what we’ve endured since. For centuries, we have had to mourn those who we love, respect and admire. We’ve been subject to so much abuse, violence and hate that we ultimately began to turn inward and sow destruction in ourselves and our communities. The devastation behind Nipsey’s murder is so overwhelming because it is a result of our destruction, yet it’s fated. It’s time for us to abandon beliefs, ideals, and behaviors that were never ours to begin with. It’s time for us to drive out darkness within our communities, households, heads and hearts. Nipsey’s body will be laid to rest but his message and, ultimately, his life mission are brighter than ever. In death, he’ll be an icon. A beacon that, I hope, will shed light on what we need to align with and how need to align with it. Bondage is not only physical. It takes all shapes. Mental, emotional and spiritual, as well. Morality is due from us if we want it to be due to us.
If God is love and we are made in his image, are we not to the epitome of love? We have mastered putting love into our crafts. That’s evident. Our music, our art, our food, and our culture all exude love, even in its darkest form. The only thing that doesn’t is our love for our collective selves. My prayer is that this bout of darkness bursts open the road to light. We deserve it, don’t you think.
Until next time, stay dedicated and protect your magic….
Rest in Light King Nip