LOS ANGELES - On March 31, 2019, Ermias "Nipsey Hussle" Asghedom was shot and killed outside his clothing store, The Marathon, in South Los Angeles.
Three years later, his legacy remains strong across Southern California.
DJ Hed and Chuck Dizzle of Real 92.3 Homegrown Radio highlight local LA talent and have interviewed some of the biggest names in the industry, including Nipsey Hussle, who DJ Hed said was a personal friend of his.
"Nipsey is a brother, a friend, a mentor, and an intellectual, and that's what I respected most about him," said DJ Hed.
DJ Hed said the city of Los Angeles embraced Nipsey.
"He was one of our ambassadors to the world – musically and culturally. [He was the] Tupac of this generation. I think that when you look at somebody like Nipsey, somebody as complex as that, it's not even just about who they were in the flesh, but it's also about who they are now. When you look at somebody like him, and you look at the music, you look at the culture, you look at the fashion, the quotes, the interviews, it's always something else," said DJ Hed.
DJ Hed remembers working at the radio station on the day of Nipsey's passing.
"I came in, and I sat right here and that day was kind of surreal. It was like a haze. I sat right here and I was crying, and I was talking to the city. You want to be selfish at the moment and say, oh my friend is gone, and someone I'm a fan of is gone but you negate the fact that that man is a father. He has children. That man is a son. He's a brother," said DJ Hed.
DJ Hed said Nipsey was a multi-faceted person and they shared many interesting conversations.
"You have the introspective Nip where Chuck Dizzle and I would talk to him about flat earth and he'd say that's not true, and that's lame. You have book nerd Nip where Nip and I would talk about books to read. Then you have gangster Nip who would be in the streets with his homies. Then you have performer Nip then you have amazing father Nip. I know that man to be an amazing father," said DJ Hed.
Chuck Dizzle said he cherishes his interviews with Nipsey where Nipsey made time for them even when he was exhausted.
"He came in at 11 p.m. on the weekend just to do the interview with us, and for him to do that, I always appreciated the fact that he made that moment just to show love, but that was the kind of person he was. You can't take that kind of spirit away from him," said Chuck Dizzle.
Nipsey is known for his philanthropy, and dedication to his community with his many businesses, including "The Marathon." DJ Hed said Nipsey had many talents outside of rapping.
"I think when people remember Nipsey, I would like them to reach beyond the music because that was important to him. It was about his brand. It was about legacy. It was about longevity. It was about respect," said DJ Hed.
Born on Aug. 15, 1985, Hussle said his first passion was music but getting resources was tough after leaving his mother's house at 14 to live with his grandmother. He said he got involved in street life as he tried to support himself, and he joined the gang Rollin 60's Neighborhood Crips as a teenager.
He later transformed himself from a gang member to a rap musician and channeled his success into efforts to help others stay out of gangs. He bought shoes for students, re-paved basketball courts and provided jobs and shelter for the homeless.
In 2017, Hussle helped renovate a Mid-City roller rink that shaped Los Angeles' early hip-hop scene. He redeveloped a strip mall that housed his Marathon Clothing shop, the same area he used to sell unsigned mixtapes out of the trunk of his car.