The world is mourning the loss of rapper Nipsey Hussle. The Grammy-nominated artist was outside of his store, Marathon Clothing, in South Los Angeles when the fatal shooting occurred.
In relation to Black television and film, multi-hyphenate Lena Waithe revealed on Twitter that Hussle was up for a big role on her Showtime series The Chi.
A lot of people don’t know this but he auditioned for Ronnie. He was so good he got a callback. We talked about the fact that he didn’t drink or smoke. He was so cool and sweet. His lyrics were vulnerable and gritty at the same time. This one hurts. #FarewellNipsey pic.twitter.com/hghjyqemVM
— Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe) April 1, 2019
"A lot of people don’t know this but he auditioned for Ronnie," she tweeted. "He was so good he got a callback. We talked about the fact that he didn’t drink or smoke. He was so cool and sweet. His lyrics were vulnerable and gritty at the same time. This one hurts."
In Waithe's original The Chi pilot, Jason Weaver of Smart Guy fame was cast as Ronnie. After the network requested that the series be redeveloped, the role went to Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine.
Hussle, who was born Ermias Ashgedom and was of Eritrean descent, was connected with the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips before getting into the rap game.
In recent years, he had become known for his contributions in community activism, philanthropy and the tech industry. He helped spearhead the launch of the Vector 90 STEM learning center in Crenshaw. Additionally, the rapper opened outdoor museum Destination Crenshaw. No further information is available on the specific details of the shooting. However, just hours before, Hussle had tweeted "Having strong enemies is a blessing."
"I grew up in gang culture. We dealt with death, with murder," he said during a Vector 90 showcase in 2018. "It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it. I guess they call it post-traumatic stress, when you have people that have been at war for such a long time. I think L.A. suffers from that because it’s not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while."
The 33-year-old was in a long-term relationship with actress Lauren London. They also have a son together. Hussle is also a father to another child outside of his relationship with London. While he spent most of his career grinding it out and releasing mixtapes, he received a Grammy nomination in 2018 for his first studio album, Victory Lap.
London stars in the upcoming BET series Games People Play (fka Games Divas Play), which debuts this year.
Blavity also contributed to this report.
Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for PUMA