L.A. Gangs Have Called A Historic Truce To Honor Nipsey Hussle (Video)

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Less than one week after the March 31 passing of Nipsey Hussle, many communities are still recovering from the sudden tragedy. In addition to mourning the slain artist, activist, and entrepeneur, many people are taking action too. Yesterday (April 5), a vigil and peace treaty was held by street leaders, intended specifically for those who are gang affiliated. With it, a short notice gathering took place out front of The Marathon, Nipsey’s store and plaza on West Slauson Avenue in the Crenshaw District. On March 31, that plaza parking lot was the site where the 33-year-old born Ermias Davidson Asghedom was fatally shot three times. Two other men standing with him were also struck by gunfire and hospitalized.

Rollin 60s Crip leader Big U, the man who helped usher Nipsey Hussle into the music industry in the mid-2000s, was among those who called for the gathering Friday. “For all the different gangs in L.A. that want to come out and support. Over the last two days, we’ve been having meetings amongst us: Eight-Trays, Rollin 60s, East Coasts, Hoovers, Bounty Hunters, and everybody that’s like-minded to come together,” he said in an Instagram announcement. The gathering was organized to run on a schedule between 3pm and 5pm. “It’s not open to the public. It’s only for L.A. street gangs: Bloods, Crips, and those with the like minds that want to support and pay homage to one of our lost soldiers, one of our good brothers [and one of] our teachers and leaders.”

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At yesterday’s event, Big U told TMZ, “We’re having a gang truce and a gang rally so all the different gangs from L.A. can get together to come celebrate the life and the gift of Nipsey.” U noted that while Tupac Shakur made Southern California his home at the end of his life and Biggie Smalls was gunned down in L.A., this loss is different. “Nipsey was the first L.A. artist to die the way he died. He didn’t have no conflict with nobody; he wasn’t beefing with nobody.” Big U added that in addition to Crips and Bloods, Hispanic gangs are also part of the gathering. He also cited other street leaders for their efforts to make the event possible.

“Bringing in a lot of different gangs that have been warring with [each other] for years is really kinda dangerous. We tried to get the people who want to be here from different gangs, different sets, and it’s beautiful to have this many people here,” Nipsey’s former manager said Friday. “The overall goal is to establish structure [for] going on forward. We’re having this, and then we want to start having sit-downs with different gangs.” U added that as those meetings progress he wants violent rivals to meet. “The gang violence in L.A. has been down. It’s been down for the last 30 years. A lot of people get along; Crips and Bloods get along on the whole. So this was tragic in the fact that [authorities are calling it ‘gang-related’]; it was kinda more hate-related than gang-related.”

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Since March 31, a suspect, Eric Holder, has been apprehended and formally charged with Nipsey’s murder along with the attempted murder of two others. On Thursday, Holder pleaded not guilty to those charges. He is represented by former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden, and is reportedly in solitary confinement for his security, held on $7,040,000 bond. Investigators have reported that the 29-year-old in custody is gang-affiliated.

“He meant everything to the community,” Crenshaw resident Lesly Marroquin told The New York Times this week. “This was all him. His music, he speaks real facts. He talks about how he grew up. He wanted people to see what he went through, to show people they could change. He was a role model.” Nipsey invested his music industry earnings back into his community. He owned multiple businesses, with plans to uplift the streets that raised him.

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According to Los Angeles officials, Nipsey Hussle had a meeting scheduled with Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steven Soboroff and Police Chief Michel Moore for the day after his murder. Reportedly, the agenda of that meeting was to explore ways to unify communities across L.A., especially in South Central. Throughout his nearly 15-year-career, Nipsey promoted his affiliations in his lyrics. However, the artist repeatedly aimed to present gangs like the Rollin 60s as the self-governing and community-focused street organizations that many were founded to be. Additionally, he regularly collaborated with Rap peers from other, sometimes rival neighborhoods and fellow artists who have proclaimed various street affiliations. Since the 2000s, Nipsey had worked with The Game, Jay Rock, Snoop Dogg, YG, The Jacka, Mozzy, Ab-Soul, Jim Jones, and others. At The Marathon, Neighborhood Nip’ sold variations of his merchandise in multiple color-ways that paid homage to the symbolism of many different sets.

A public vigil outside of Marathon was held April 1. Nip’ collaborator Dave East organized one of several gatherings in New York City. Other cities have held separate memorials for the respected activist, entrepreneur, and Grammy-nominated artist. A memorial service is planned for Thursday (April 11) at the Staples Center, a venue with a capacity of 21,000. According to TMZ, attendees must have a ticket for entry.

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This march comes 27 years to the month after the Watts Peace Treaty. Surrounding the verdict of the 1992 Rodney King trial, gang leaders organized a ceasefire. NFL Hall Of Famer and social activist Jim Brown was present along with figures of the Hip-Hop community as Crips, Bloods, and other gangs came together in Watts to the street agreement.

In the months and years that followed, various sets worked together in the community and on music. Throughout the mid-’90s there were Bangin’ On Wax compilations featuring talented members of the Crips and the Bloods. Several of these independently-released albums reached the Top 200. Hip-Hop artists Domino, DJ Battlecat, and The Relativez are some of the more prominent acts involved.

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According to Hits Daily Double, Nipsey Hussle’s 2018 album Victory Lap is forecast to reach the highest-charting position yet, more than one year after its release.