In the wake of her son’s death, Nipsey Hussle’s mother says she has “perfect peace” knowing her son’s memory now has “no bounds and no limits.”
Nipsey, born Ermias Ashgedom, was fatally shot outside his Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles on March 31. Days before the iconic L.A. rapper is scheduled to be laid to rest, his mother, Angelique Smith, offered words of encouragement to Nipsey Hussle’s fans and supporters.
“I have strength, and I want to lift you up,” Smith said. “Because Nipsey is great. And now he’s even greater because he has no bounds and no limits. His energy is everywhere. He’s there with you now and he’s here with me now. And please be encouraged.”
While Nipsey’s death has profoundly affected artists and fans across the country, his life and contributions have a specific resonance in Los Angeles, where he was far more than a native son. A widely respected advocate and entrepreneur, Nipsey frequently spoke about the importance of investing in and preserving black communities.
“I just want to give back in an effective way,” Nipsey told The Los Angeles Times in 2018. “I remember being young and really having the best intentions and not being met on my efforts. You’re, like, ‘I’m going to really lock into my goals and my passion and my talents’ but you see no industry support. You see no structures or infrastructure built, and you get a little frustrated.”
His death has also profoundly affected Eritrean and Ethiopian Americans, who connected with the rapper over his East African roots. As Hannah Giorgis reported for The Atlantic, in the week following Nipsey’s death, Eritrean Americans across the country organized memorials for the slain rapper. A memorial service at the Staples Center planned for Thursday sold out within minutes.
Despite her son’s untimely killing, Smith told the camera death is not something to be feared.
“When you walk this earth and you do good deeds for people and you are loving and kind, those are the things that will show on your face—you will look more beautiful,” Smith said in the video, adding that her son had a “glow.”
“Death is just the beginning of a wonderful world. And I tell myself, Ermias liked thrilling things. And now my son knows the mystery—the secret, rather, to the mystery of life.”