“Happy C-Day, Neighborhood Nip,” said Young Dolph in a clip posted to Instagram in August, on what should’ve been Nipsey Hussle’s 36th birthday. “R.I.P. my boy. Real niggas still miss you down here, bruh.”
Dolph drove the point home by showing off a brand-new custom chain, a sequence of chunky bedazzled links attached to an iconic portrait of the dearly beloved rap mogul, set against a field of deep blue, surrounded by an iced-out Crenshaw C.
Exactly five years prior, Hussle had celebrated his 31st birthday with the release of Slauson Boy 2, the last commercially available mixtape of his career. “Really came up in the field,” Nip proclaims at the top of track 13, on which he’s joined by Dolph and Bino Rideaux. “Get money, get life, or get killed.” The song hits different today, after Dolph lost his life in a brazen daylight shooting, caught in the act of giving back to the people of his city — much the same way Hussle lost his life two-and-a-half years ago. “I ain’t been doin’ nothin’ but count paper,” Dolph rhymes on his verse. “Duckin’ and dodgin’ these haters.”
Adolphus Thornton Jr. was 36 years old, a devoted father to his young son Tre and younger daughter Aria. In May 2020, his children’s mother, entrepreneur Mia Jaye, lost her brother — a devout Christian who ran his own car business — to violent crime. The tragedy inspired her to start a campaign this August called “Black Men Deserve to Grow Old,” highlighting the fact that Black men are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than White men. Little did she know, three months later her children’s father would become another victim of intraracial violence. Soon after, she shared her pain via IG stories. “God give me strength,” Mia wrote. “Question is: How am I going to tell my babies that daddy is never coming home?”
“When I think about Dolph, I understand him being an ascended master. He tapped into such a level of…