Los Angeles factions of the Crips and Bloods gangs have spoken about coming together in the wake of Nipsey Hussle’s death.
- Read more: Nipsey Hussle, 1985-2019: a musician who gave a voice to the voiceless and changed the face of indie rap
The rapper, who was a member of the Rollin 60s Neighbourhood Crips, was shot and killed in LA on March 31.
Days after his death, members of different gangs in the city met up for a “unity meeting”. According to nightclub promoter Marquis Diamond, representatives of the Crips, Bloods, Bounty Hunters, Deuces, and more were all present for the peaceful event.
Now, members of the Crips and Bloods have spoken about that night. LaTanya Ward, a 38-year-old member of the Bloods gang Black P Stones told the Guardian that Hussle was “one of our own even if he is, amongst us, one of our enemies.”
She told the paper she called Shamond Bennett, a friend of the rapper’s and a member of the Rollin’ 60s to help organise the gathering. The first event saw 15 people from various gangs meet up to talk, with another meeting taking place the following day and attracting over 100 people from more than 30 gangs.
Following both meetings, someone associated with the Rollin’ 60s invited anyone involved with street gangs in LA to attend a vigil at the site of his murder. Bennett said that, at that memorial, members of Rollin’ 60s’ rivals 8 Trey Gangster Crips – whose feud, according to one minister present, was previously thought the most “unsolvable” in LA – had welcomed him “with open arms”.
“That first handshake and then them hugs, it’s like it’s real now,” Bennett continued. “It was amazing. It was beautiful.” He added that hugging members of his former opponents was “one of the best feelings of my whole life.”
Former gang member Edward Scott added: “This is history because they got to stand on the same square, not incarcerated, but on the streets, coming together.”
Despite belonging to a gang, Hussle had a philosophy of non-violence and was reportedly scheduled to speak with the LAPD’s commissioner about ways to reduce gang violence before his death.
A suspect was charged in Hussle’s killing last month (April 4). Eric Holder, 29, is facing life in prison after prosecutors charged him with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Meanwhile, Jay-Z paid tribute to the late rapper at his recent B-Sides 2 show at New York’s Webster Hall. “Gentrify your own hood before these people do it,” he rapped in a freestyle at one point. “Claim eminent domain and have your people move in/That’s a small glimpse into what Nipsey was doing/For anybody still confused as to what he was doing.”