Hip Hop MC Nipsey Hussle was tragically murdered on Sunday, outside of a clothing store he owned in Los Angeles.  While a large part of the media attention has focused on his music career, his philanthropy and advocacy for black business ownership has also received a fair amount of attention.

VIMBY has spent the majority of its time for the last decade + working with brands and helping them tell their stories for a digital audience, but we began as a platform of original content celebrating youth culture.  Way back in 2009 we profiled Nipsey when he was an emerging LA rapper, just starting to hit the national scene.  There are a few things that make this old video fascinating to watch now – the non-HDness of it, the retro look of pro tools in the studio, low fi graphics etc.  But what makes it worth watching is how it captures a young artist who set out to establish himself ten years ago as someone who wanted to redefine what it meant to be a young black entertainer in the inner city – it wasn’t just about dropping a dope rhyme (though he dropped many); it was about owning your own business, being your own boss, and championing your hometown while staying true to who you are.  While Nipsey Hussle’s life was sadly cut short, his music – and his model for independent entrepreneurship – live on.