Prominent Leader – Nipsey Hussle
MGT 380: Leadership for Organizations
Prominent Leader – Nipsey Hussle
Nowadays, individuals strive into leadership roles when an issue presents itself, and it influences an individual, however, an association as a whole or the entire community. The leader assumes the responsibility of taking on problems and situations to the forefront and help work and sort them out to where all parties that are involved are satisfied with the results. As a leader, they should educate and train the individuals that either is under their care or the individuals that admire them. They do as such by showing them the tasks of the job with hopes that one day they can lead a community and association. There is a saying, and it goes like “heavy is the head that wears the crown.” As a leader, one must be able to uplift and motivate a group of individuals toward the path to help maintain the fundamental standards of an association to establish and maintain the traditions and morals of the community and its association. Prominent leaders are well known for their work in their communities and their businesses.
A prominent leader that I chose is an individual named Ernias Asghedom, however, also called Nipsey Hussle. Nipsey Hussle is an extraordinary portrayal of an individual who displayed prominent leadership within his community and for the numerous organizations that he established in South Los Angeles, California. He was a gang member that transformed into a business typhoon and community activist. He utilized the education that he got from being a gang member and a street hustler to help start a change within his community. Although his time on earth was sliced short because of street violence, his work within the community has revealed insight into how individuals from the community can help their community by giving back and inspiring those in need that can’t leave what they know and get jobs or homes as a result of their criminal background or association.
Nipsey Hussle was brought up in South Los Angeles, California, is probably the toughest neighborhoods near Slauson and Crenshaw. Growing up was rough for him, mainly since he wanted more for his family, and since they lived in an insecure and risky environment, it had driven him to join a gang known as the Rolling 60’s Neighborhood Crips. It was in 2004 when his dad took him and his older brother to his home country of Eritrea, East Africa. After visiting Eritrea, he concluded that he needed to give back to his community, which had driven him to become a community activist. He comprehended that to better the community wherein you live, you should give your time, energy, and money to establish fundamental principles that would lure others outside of the city to bring in business. That altogether, for a community to prosper, they would require some outside assistance. Since he had affiliations with a gang, he wanted to help gang members transition to a healthy lifestyle by getting a decent job and being able to support themselves without ties to a gang, which eventually led them to no longer being in a gang. Being the artist and hip-hop entrepreneur that he is, he had made mixtapes and sold incense at the neighborhood strip mall to help gain finances for the things that he anticipated accomplishing for his community.
The sales of his mixtapes and gaining prominence from his music, Nipsey would proceed to make colossal improvements in his community. The strip mall where he spent years hustling mixtapes in front of, he purchased that entire strip, and he started organizations for people within the community. The shopping center incorporates his Marathon Clothing Store, a barbershop, a burger eatery, and a seafood market. Before his untimely demise, Nipsey was working with his colleagues to create residential units that would be built above the shopping center to help house people within the community at reasonable rates.
Nipsey Hussle exemplified characteristics of the transformational style of leadership. As referenced in our content, “Transformational leadership is a style in which a leader seeks to change and engage followers and the organization by creating a compelling vision, strategy, and culture. By being attentive to followers’ needs and identifying the needed change, a transformational leader motivates followers to achieve their and the organization’s potential.” (Weiss, 2015, sec. 5.2). Nipsey establishes the tone for how an individual from the community can inspire and give back to their community. He encouraged his business partners to do their part and help their community, which they are doing as of today. His motto is, “the marathon continues.” With that being stated, his business partners and older brother are doing their part to ensure that his legacy keeps on flourishing to helping his family and the community that he cared so much for.
As per Connie Orlando, Executive Vice-President, Head of Programming at BET, said in a statement, “As a prolific artist and leader, Nipsey Hussle was enthusiastic about driving change for the betterment of his community, empowering and employing those in need and being an influential and highly respected leader.” (BET Awards, 2019). Nipsey would get things done in the community that would leave a significant effect on the adolescent and entices them to emulate his example. He was given the nickname “Neighborhood Nip” because of his love for his neighborhood. He was a community leader in LA who worked to revitalize his old neighborhood and help rid it of gang violence. Nipsey had so much adoration and had faith in helping the people in his community. With the assistance of an investment group known as Vector 90, he helped create a STEM program for young adolescents to learn how to build and maintain their organizations. He needed to guarantee that the impoverished children were permitted to have access to education and innovation that is expected to start a business. In his own words, he imparted to a columnist for LA Times on why he put his resources into helping young children in his community; “I just want to give back in an effective way. I remember being young and really having the best intentions and not being met on my efforts. You’re like, I’m going to really lock into my goals and my passion and my talents’ but you see no industry support. You see no structures or infrastructure built and you get a little frustrated.” (Kelley, 2018). Nipsey, in his own words, characterizes being a prominent leader. That a leader thinks about others and wants them to succeed in everything and anything that they put their minds to. He comprehended that if his community thrives and keeps on prospering, it would be a representation of the works and efforts that he and everyone have placed into. A leader knows that to lead, you must at first follow. Nipsey took everything that he gained from when he stayed in Eritrea and hustling to survive on the streets and he put it into everything that he did. His enthusiasm for needing to see his community succeed had driven other individuals to follow his lead and do their part to help with the community.
An ideal case of this is how Nipsey was influential in helping the rivaling gangs in the area put a stop to the unnecessary violence and work together as one to protect, uplift, motivate, inspire the community to come together and do better. Nipsey also utilized his position as a community activist to set up conferences between the Roc Nation and the Los Angeles Police Department to discuss gun violence and give thoughts as well as solutions to inspire young black men within the community. Nipsey was additionally an advocator for art-centric beautification projects known as Destination Crenshaw, which is an open-air museum built to exhibit art that represents the black culture by black artists and personally helped renovate the World on Wheels, the legendary roller rink on Venice Boulevard that partially birthed West Coast hip-hop. (Kennedy, 2020). Nipsey’s drive was the upliftment of the community as a people and that is a true embodiment of what prominent leader is. According to Kennedy (2020), “Nipsey wasn’t just trying to make music to get money or to be famous. He understood that through his music, he would be able to get his message across. He wanted to change the world for the better. He gave hope to the hopeless. He motivated the youth not to give up their dreams, and at the same time, he showed that it takes dedication and hard work to achieve it.”
On March 31, 2019, Nipsey pulled up to his Marathon Clothing Shop, a strip mall property that he purchased and had plans to redevelop the property into a housing-and-retail complex, took some pictures with his fans, and signed some autographs. He was doing what he does best, which was helping an individual who aspired to be a rapper and was a former member of the Rollin 60s Crip gang who had just got released — not knowing that the same individual would be the one for him to meet his untimely demise. Ever since I heard of Nipsey Hussle last year, I became intrigued into why this individual had murals of him painted like Dr. Martin Luther King. I watched all of his interviews and listened to most of his music. At first, I thought he was just a gangster hustling to get by. But after thorough reading and watching videos of him, this person had a heart of gold and it showed to not only the people that were close to him but to the community that he stood for. The dreams and aspirations that he had for his community will thrive if everyone does their part. His legacy “the marathon continues” will live on in his children, their children, his longtime soulmate as well as the community because they know that is what he would want. Nipsey utilized his knowledge, experience, networks, and wealth to help his community thrive especially the younger generation so that they can get the tools that they need to one day do what he did for his community. I believe that Nipsey Hussle is a true definition of a prominent leader.