Don’t Let the Water in the Boat: Thinking of Nipsey Hussle Two Years Later
“Don’t let the water in the boat,” Nipsey Hussle told me on February 22, 2018, six days after the release of his album Victory Lap. “The boat’ll never go down if you don’t let the water in the boat.” It was advice he shared with his daughter sometimes, wise words to hang onto when facing any kind of adversity.
“And that’s just water,” he said. “You know what I’m sayin’? That’s just rough seas. We got a destination. We tryin’ to get across the ocean to the other country, or to whatever land on the other side of this water. All that other shit, you go straight through the waves. Just don’t let the water in the boat.”
Thinking of those words, the image of Hussle in the “Victory Lap” music video comes to mind: standing in the prow of a fishing boat off the coast of Tulum, Mexico, puffing on a cigar, hanging onto a rope with one hand as the wooden vessel bounced on the waves.
It’s comforting to think of Hussle’s victories on a day like March 31, the anniversary of an atrocity. Two years after his senseless murder, the pain hasn’t gone away. The city of Los Angeles is still reeling. It’s hard to imagine what Hussle’s family must be feeling on days like today.
“As a father, I wish my son was still here with me,” said Dawit Asghedom, shortly after Ermias was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, the final resting place of Michael Jackson, Walt Disney, John Singleton, and Rodney King. “But also he’s not died in vain. People recognize what he planned to do and what he has accomplished at a young age, at only 33.
“Nobody imagined how much people loved him, the support they give him. There’s no words to explain. Starting from the Marathon store to the Staples Center and when we marched through the streets. It was incredible.”
All the memorial services around the world are just a testament to how many people he touched,”…