My father was a Nipsey Hussle.
No, he wasn’t ‘affiliated’ with any street organization (he worked in IT banking most of his career), but he grew up in hard times with scare resources. Still, he let it sink it that if he didn’t break the cycle for his children, he’d have no legacy to leave.
So he worked hard and gave much- even if he didn’t have it to give. He was a product of social programming like Upward Bound and later gave back through teaching Junior Achievement. He was always serving. Always.
Serving his family through financial support and openly showing us love and care. We received so many hugs and cuddles and kisses. Even when my brothers got “too old” (their words, not his) for that type of affection, he didn’t let a day go by without letting them and his daughters know how much he loved us.
He served his church. He (and we alongside him) was always in the sound booth. We knew we couldn’t touch anything, but we watched him work. How he directed people with authority, but care. He was always training someone or bringing someone in to train because he knew the strength in a network.
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He served his community. You would think a father of either and a staffer of a large ministry wouldn’t have a moment to spare outside of these obligations, but whatever opportunity he had to teach in schools or at computer programming boot camps or in homes he did. He was a present father and not his in his family’s life, but the life of so many.
I never met your dad, Nipsey. I only knew him through recent photos and video clips. To be fair, I spent only seven years with my father before he passed. But I know this: you will spend the rest of your life hearing how impactful and a great man he was.
Let this drive you, but do not let it crush you.
Your impact may look, sound and feel differently from your father, but your love is the same. His blood runs through your veins for a reason and in his death, people will make many decisions for you. They will try to speak for him as best as they know how.
Receive it all in love, but do not replace your purpose for his. Let his life and legacy push you towards the work you are called to do and your father will forever be proud.
My heart goes out to you. As someone who lost a great man in her life at a very young age, I know how unfair or even unreal this may feel right now. But as your mother stated during your father’s eulogy, “Grief is the final act of love.” and— if I might add— joy after grief is the curtain call.
Our prayers and service support you all and Nipsey’s legacy.