Since March 31, 2019, I have been battling with the sudden and tragic killing of rapper Ermias Asghedom, aka Nipsey Hussle.
I have been filled with a torrent of emotions, brought to tears by the loss of a man I never knew. I’m disturbed by the death of a Black man whose music I’ve grown to appreciate, an entrepreneur and a community leader who provided opportunities for those around him, a boyfriend and a father who believed in family.
Although he was a great rapper, the legacy that he leaves goes far beyond his music. Throughout this period of reflection, I have chosen many lessons to take from him, but the one that sticks with me is about love.
Nipsey Hussle and actress Lauren London shared a five-year relationship in which they built their love around family. Both partners shared children from previous relationships and together they had a 2-year-old son, Cross Asghedom.
My appreciation for their relationship deepened in February as they graced the cover of GQ magazine and shared their Westside Los Angeles love story. The iconic photos of them captured my heart and one, in particular, still gives me chills. It features the couple dressed in all white, with London sitting on a white horse, Nipsey standing in front of her holding the reins and a boulevard of classic California palm trees behind them.
As a Black woman in her 20s, it would be a lie for me to say that I don’t dream of the time when I will find my soul mate and begin my family. This dream seems almost impossible, given that we live in a generation of broken homes, unfaithful partnerships and extreme misogyny. As I’ve mourned Nipsey Hussle’s death, I’ve had many conversations, scrolled through countless social media posts and read hundreds of comments that spoke overwhelmingly about the fear of love and the fear of the loss of love.
On April 2, 2019, London’s heartbreaking Instagram post, which featured a collection of his photos, made that fear a reality.
I believe that the reason that I am so heartbroken by Nipsey Hussle’s death is due to the fact that it speaks to a scary truth for me and so many other young Black women. We are hurting for Lauren London, who is dealing with the unimaginable loss of the love of her life and the father of her child.
But I continue to ask myself what can we take away from their love story?
I believe that their relationship is a testament to Black love in all its possibilities. Once we put the fear of love aside, we can find and cherish love. Tomorrow is never promised, but that should never keep us from trying. As we move through the trials and tribulations of dating and relationships, we should live by the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson: “’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
They have taught us that we cannot live in fear but love with hope. All that we can hope for is to find a partner who can be our sanctuary, our protector and our soul in the way Nipsey Hussle was for Lauren London.