It is a pain that will never heal. Our beloved human being, rapper, entrepreneur, father, friend, brother, and the essence of #BlackExcellence Nipsey Hussle has been murdered. This vicious cycle of violence we don’t seem to be able to escape has consumed one of our brightest stars. 

As with most painful losses we experience, Nipsey’s murder also came with a conspiracy: Nipsey was killed by big pharma for exposing them for murdering Dr. Sebi.

Who is Dr. Sebi? And why are some still hanging on to this conspiracy theory even after Eric Holder, the man who allegedly shot and killed Nipsey in broad daylight, in front of several witnesses, has been arrested? We will get to that later.

Let’s look at Nipsey’s story first, for those who didn’t know him.

Nipsey’s story

Nipsey was born Ermias Asghedom to an African American mother and Eritrean father. He was raised in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Los Angeles, an area famous for violence and hip hop. Nipsey took on his stage name while he was a teenager, a play on the name of comic Nipsey Russell.

It is no secret that Nipsey was a member of the Rollin 60s, a neighborhood crips gang. He dropped out of high school by 16 and started pursuing his rapping career.

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Don Hussle By @kodaklens

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In explaining why he joined a gang, Nipsey said this in an interview with VLADTV: “All I wanted to do was music, that was my first passion before anything. And out of frustration from not having outlets, having studio access, you know, the culture of my area is gang culture… So by being outside, being involved with hustling, being in the hood, doing things trying to get money, being young… riding your bike through the hood, getting shot at…your loved ones, your homies that are your age getting killed, getting shot at, getting jumped at malls,..we were raised where, if you’re with me, and something goes down, I’m in it, whether I’m in it or not.”

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Nipsey released his first mixtape, Slauson Boy Volume 1 in 2005 and slowly built up a loyal following in the West Coast. One of his biggest buzz worthy moves was when he opted to make all digital copies of his Crenshaw mixtape available for free while selling only 1,000 physical copies for $100 each.  Jay Z famously bought 100 copies as a show of support to this brilliant artist and business man.

His last album, Victory Lap, was released in 2018.

Why the pain is deep

Nipsey Hussle is not a household name. Those who have never heard of him are baffled by the reaction and just the sheer amount of attention his death has received on both mass media and social media.

The pain over Nipsey’s death is deep because he was the epitome of who you can become, no matter where you start. He was the epitome of an ideal evolution: a man from the ‘hood that brought the ‘hood up with him.

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Our Grandchildren will frame this @gq @nipseyhussle

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“In my section of the Crenshaw District in the Rollin’ 60s, none of my peers survived. None of my peers avoided prison. None of ’em.” said Nipsey, speaking on “making it out” unscathed when you grow up in a culture of violence.  “Everybody got bullet counts and felonies and strikes. So to make it out mentally stable and not in prison and not on drugs, that’s a win.”

He did not leave his hood once he got his money and was mingling with the who is who of Hollywood.

Nipsey brought the money he made back to the hood and bought up the block, exactly the way we all say a person should.

Nipsey opened up Marathon, a clothing store in the Crenshaw District and co-founded a science and tech focused center for underprivileged youth in the neighborhood. As a believer in entrepreneurship, he also opened up a co-working space called Vector 90 for local entrepreneurs.

A day before he was shot and killed, Nipsey had plans to meet up with the LAPD to work on plans to reduce gang violence in Los Angeles. He was an avid reader and always advocated reading and the power of positive thinking in every interview he did.

Looking at the tattooed exterior of Nipsey, one cannot help but draw conclusions about who Nipsey was. But the man was much deeper than that. He made no secret of his past but also no secret of the love he had for the black community and his commitment to help it thrive. He was known for being a humble human being, beloved by musicians, politicians, residents of South Central LA,  and even rival gangs. 

(Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for PUMA)

Those are just parts of what Nipsey Hussle was doing in his community. That’s why the pain is deep and felt by everybody, coast to coast. 

The conspiracy theory

As soon as the news of Nipsey’s murder got out, conspiracies about who had him killed began to spring up. The biggest conspiracy is that “they” had Nipsey killed because he was making a documentary about Alfredo Bowman, aka Dr. Sebi (but not a real doctor), a Honduran herbalist and self-proclaimed healer.

Dr. Sebi had claimed he can heal all disease, including AIDS, with herbs. He died from pneumonia in 2016 while in police custody in Honduras for money laundering. However, some of his followers believe he was assassinated by big pharmaceutical companies.

Nipsey had spoken about making a documentary about Dr Sebi’s life and work long before he was shot and killed. But conspiracy theorists believe he was killed because he was going to expose big-pharma and the government’s involvement in silencing Dr. Sebi.

Dr. Sebi’s story is no secret. Just Google his name or look for videos of him on YouTube and you will find plenty to read and watch. Nipsey Hussle was clearly a supporter of Dr. Sebi and believed he was murdered for his work. Just listen to a snippet of the interview he did with The Breakfast Club below where he discussed the documentary he was working on. But by no means does this equal Nipsey being killed because of the documentary.

Let’s face the truth

As recounted by several witnesses, suspect Eric Holder, a fellow member of the Rolling 60s, got into a heated argument with Nipsey in front of the clothing store owned by Nipsey. Holder then left the scene and returned with a gun and shot Nipsey and two other men. The shooting was captured on surveillance camera. 

Because there were witnesses to the shooting and Eric was a known figure in the neighborhood, police were quick to identify him and blast his picture everywhere. Within 48hrs of the shooting, he was captured. 

That seems like a pretty cut and dry case for most people. But not to all. 

Conspiracy theory lovers are still holding on to big-pharma assassinating Nipsey over the Dr. Sebi documentary. 

Holding on to this ridiculous conspiracy theory is a disservice to Nipsey’s legacy. 

Nipsey’s legacy is one that’s based on us helping ourselves. His legacy is about investing in our communities and not waiting for somebody to come rescue us. There’s nobody coming. 

Those who love to hide behind conspiracy theories and not face the fact that we are killing us are always looking to blame “them” for our loss. We get it. It is an uncomfortable, painful, gut-wrenching thought to have when realizing that Nipsey, this transformative man, was killed by one of our own. But that’s the thought we should face. 

The truth is we are killing each other at alarming rates. There were 15+ shootings in LA the week Nipsey died, most of them in black communities, that’s the truth. The truth is this is happening in St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago, and the list goes on and on. 

Wake up, black America!

We have to fix our problems. No more hiding behind the computer and posting and reposting conspiracy theories that blame everybody under the sun except ourselves when we are faced with difficult truths. Yes, in the moment, it’s comforting to have these theories. Hell, it’s even fun to conjure up images of these big bad “them” as they sit around dark rooms and drink human blood while plotting the destruction of black America. 

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Real estate developer David Gross, left, and rapper Nipsey Hussle at the launch of co-working space and STEM center Vector 90 on Feb. 15, 2017. (Timothy Smith)

We know the painful history we have endured where they, being the government, actually DID have plans to keep us down. And that’s still ongoing. We have written about current day injustices, from racism to BLM to economical and warfare against the black community. 

But let’s distinguish that from moments like this one. Let’s not be so willfully ignorant to the truth when it’s such a wake up call as this one. Let’s also examine how we are also harming ourselves. 

If we refuse to wake up and deal with our problems, the death of Nipsey Hussle is just another stab in a long existence filled with one stab after another. A significant amount of those stabs being self inflicted. 

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Author

Roman Debotch is a filmmaker, photographer, and co-founder of blackexcellence.com. Through the platform that is Black Excellence, she has been able to marry her passion for story telling with her passion for issues affecting the black community. Roman earned her B.A. in Film and TV Studies and ventured into the world of video production after college. She produced music, corporate, and event videos for years before co-founding BlackExcellence.com. Since then, she has been working as a contributor to the platform as well as continuing her video production business. The very limited time Roman is away from either writing or shooting a video, she can be found hiking or enjoying one of Southern California's beautiful beaches.

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