Labor of Love: Nipsey Hussle’s Example of Love in Action

By Jasmine Kelly

This past week has been a trying week for me personally and one for the rest of the world as Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot March 31, 2019. A long-time fan of Nipsey, I have always been familiar with his music and the type of person that he was. One of the first words that come to me when I think about him is love. Nipsey rapped each song like it was his last, and you can literally feel the passion from his tone of voice and lyrics. Most importantly, Nipsey always rapped about the love that he had for life, his people, and community; constant themes in his music. As a matter of fact, his nickname was “Neighborhood Nip.” Nipsey placed action behind his words as he had several philanthropic and civic projects in the works. Through his various ventures, one could tell that he genuinely loved and was willing to work for what he loved; which made me think about our society and how we view love.

Merriam-Webster (2019), defines love as “a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.” I was surprised that none of the other listed definitions mentioned or alluded to the work that is required for love. Many of us find ourselves quickly walking away from things that “no longer serve us.” In the age of social media, walking away and leaving is so easy to do; if we do not like something we can remove the item from our cart, block someone or swipe left. For those who escape situations that are no longer conducive to them, I cannot help but wonder if they are walking away because the circumstances genuinely are not healthy or if they refuse to put in the effort to better the environment.

While love is great and I believe that it is truly the best emotion that someone can ever feel, it takes work. Simply declaring your love for something or someone is not enough, what are you going to do for it or them? Are you willing to focus and/or put your selfish ambitions aside? Or will you cave under pressure and retreat when things do not go your way or that person is not behaving the way that you think they should? I am not an expert,  but I can tell you that everything and every person that I love exists and remain in my life because I am willing to roll up my sleeves and work on whatever needs to be done. Even when it is not easy. By no means am I perfect as I make plenty of mistakes and quite often, become frustrated. However, I understand that what needs to be sustained must be nurtured and I am willing to toil for what I have strong sentiments towards.  I thank Nipsey Hussle for personifying what he loved and will honor his life due to the fact. Will you do the same?

Jasmine Kelly is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Jasmine is a higher education professional who believes in the powers of Black Twitter. You can follow her on Instagram @chicomydusty.

Photo by Justin Follis

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