Nipsey Hussle’s store becomes sacred ground for fans

12 APR 19 09:05 ET

(CNN) — Nipsey Hussle practically lived some days at his Marathon Clothing store, and it’s where he would ultimately die.

The rapper was shot and fatally wounded March 31 near his beloved store at West Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard in South Central Los Angeles, and now throngs are converging there to remember him.

The Grammy-nominated artist was beloved for never forgetting his neighborhood and for funneling money back into it, even as he encouraged others to pursue entrepreneurship.

During Thursday’s memorial to Nipsey at the Staples Center, his older brother Samiel Asghedom spoke emotionally about how the “one thing is that when you go, you go the right way. You stand up for what you believe in. You put your money where your mouth is.”

“Never let the pressure sway you from doing what you want to do. Never let the politics stop you from coming around and staying around,” Asghedom said. “And I hope everyone knows that’s what bro did. Bro stayed and he died on Crenshaw and Slauson.”

The rapper fused his love of business and technology, making it a “smart” store for his Marathon Clothing line and music.

“This is us trying to disrupt retail, create a theme park for the brand. This is us trying to create a retail network to become vertically integrated,” Nipsey told Billboard in 2017. “This is us trying to super serve the core with an upgraded experience. This is us trying to fuse hip-hop, fashion, and tech.”

Since the artist’s death, supporters have gravitated to the block where the store’s located, with some leaving flowers, candles, balloons and notes.

On Thursday a 25-mile processional wound its way from the Staples Center past the store, and social media posts have been filled with videos and photos of the makeshift memorial there where scores of people showed up.

Fellow rappers Meek Mill and T.I. shopped at the store in recent days, with the latter posting a video encouraging others to do the same.

“Anybody who want to support lil bro, anybody who want to support the cause go online man and buy you an original Crenshaw Marathon clothing s***,” T.I. said.

In his remarks at Thursday’s memorial, rapper Snoop Dogg told the story of Nipsey encouraging him to build an amusement park called Doggyland.

He never did, but Nipsey, who hustled his own CDs before getting a record deal, went on to become a business leader in his community.

“Nip ended up creating a square,” Snoop Dogg said. “He ended up (buying) property. … He built his own Doggyland. He built his own that people from around the world are starting to come to, take pictures of, stand in front of and immortalize this man.”

To quote Nipsey’s now famous mixtape, The Marathon continues.

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