‘Economic Version of Black Lives Matter’: Nipsey Hussle Planned to Tackle Gentrification Before His Life Was Cut Short

Nipsey Hussle greeting kids at an event to reveal a neighborhood basketball court he had worked to have refurbished, Oct. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles.
Nipsey Hussle greeting kids at an event to reveal a neighborhood basketball court he had worked to have refurbished, Oct. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles.
Photo: Getty

The stories of Nipsey Hussle’s entrepreneurship and community activism were legion following his being gunned down in front of the store he owned in South Los Angeles.


But in the weeks since his death, new reports are coming out showing how extensive Hussle’s plans were, not only for his native South Los Angeles, but disenfranchised black and brown communities around the country.

“He wanted to be a symbol and really spark a movement,” Hussle’s business partner, real estate developer David Gross, told the Los Angeles Times. “Basically, it was the economic version of Black Lives Matter. [That] is what we were trying to create.”

Part of that movement was conquering the ills of gentrification that so often mean communities of color are further disadvantaged, even to the point of being pushed out of their neighborhoods completely.

As the Times explains:

At the time of his death, Hussle was reaching out to a diverse array of partners — from fellow musicians and L.A. politicians to a Republican senator from South Carolina [Tim Scott] — to make the revitalization of [South L.A. neighborhood] Hyde Park something larger and potentially longer-lasting.

Hussle was part of an investment group that was planning to use a tax incentive carved out in a recent federal law to revive not only his neighborhood, but other forgotten, low-income communities in 11 cities, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

But to the end, Hussle always thought of the community first, and he came up with a way to allow members of the community to own a piece of every new project in their city.

So, instead of just investing in new residences and businesses that would be out of reach for the existing community, Hussle planned to give the community the opportunity to own a piece of every project — through crowdfunding.


Shortly before his death, he was set to meet with Sen. Scott, the Republican from South Carolina, to discuss an investment fund he and his business partners had created called the “Our Opportunity” fund.


As Gross, who also grew up in South L.A. told the Times, its mission was to work with the hometown heroes “of every large, majority black city to, in a systematic way, acquire and develop transformative projects.”

From all reports, Hussle was a real visionary, with powerful plans to uplift our communities across the nation. It is indeed a tragedy that he is gone way too soon, but hopefully his storyhis ideaswill inspire others to continue along the path he was only beginning to carve out.



OMG. This is Damon Young’s “phrases that don’t mean anything” article come to life.

This dude wasn’t even Ricky from Boyz N Tha Hood. Like come the fuck on. I’m trying to respect that a dude got shot dead by one of his partners over pettiness. That’s terrible. I’m trying to respect that he was investing in his community rather than being a stunt queen. I also appreciate that he was authentic and not a manufactured gimmick.

BUT COME THE FUCK ON. This dude embodied some of the worst characteristics of “crabs in a bucket” too. Lamenting about how feminized black men are tearing down the community while rapping about dealing drugs. Talking about how black folks need to rise up and stick together while using gang iconography which is explicitly adversarial. Calling his woman a queen while expecting her to submissive. Madness.

People are gassing this dude up because he’s a celebrity that died. Point blank. Period! Mari Copeny aka Little Miss Flint had to get help from Elon fucking Musk. Jasmyne Cannick has been paid dust by the same police force that Snoop Dogg and The Game taking smiling pictures with. Patrisse Cullors and Janaya Khan are the actual Black Lives Matter and people think it’s a scam because they’re lesbians.

Doing too much. Too damn much.