30 for 30 Podcasts and The Undefeated present The King of Crenshaw, a four-part podcast series that focuses on how the late Nipsey Hussle’s life, death, and legacy deeply impacted the sports world. This series aims to examine how that overlap of Black male creativity, talent, and ambition will forever live on in Nipsey’s responsibility to his neighborhood. And how NBA players are vowing to continue his marathon moving forward.
Shortly before a home tip off against the Charlotte Hornets on March 31, 2019, then-Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins sat at his locker in a daze. Less than an hour earlier, Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle was murdered in front of his Marathon clothing store in South Central Los Angeles. Cousins, who earlier that same day was posting Hussle’s music on his Instagram Stories, was stunned. “Everyone knows I’m a huge Nipsey fan,” Cousins said. “He’s more to me than just a rapper. He’s an icon.”
Hussle’s death at 33 reverberated internationally, across sports from MLB and the NFL to the U.S. Women’s national soccer team, but especially in the NBA. Father, MC, entrepreneur, community leader, Rollin 60s Crip: Hussle wore many hats in his brief time on Earth. He was someone athletes looked to for motivation, not only to prepare for games, but because his dedication to living a life of respect and principle resonated with them. His music became life mantras, and his commitment to his community coincided with social justice advocacy becoming an integral part of the sports fabric in America.
Many of those athletes are from the same area where Nipsey grew up, and ultimately lost his life. Many people, in particular young Black men, saw themselves in him and his death leaves a tangible void in those who practiced what he preached. In death, his mantra, “The Marathon Continues,” has taken on added significance for many athletes.
About “The King of Crenshaw”
The Undefeated’s Senior Culture and Sports Writer, Justin Tinsley, who has written extensively about Nipsey, narrates the series.
The production is led by Joanne Griffith and the production team includes Gus Navarro, Dave King, and Derwin Graham.
Original Music for the series composed and recorded by Nipsey’s longtime producers and collaborators, 1500 or Nothin’.
The four-part series is available in its entirety for fans to listen.
Episode 1: To Live and Die in LA
Episode 1: To Live and Die in LA When Nipsey Hussle was murdered on March 31, 2019 in front of his South LA clothing store, the tragedy elicited immediate tributes across industries, walks of life, and international borders. One world in particular where the news resonated on a deeply personal level — the NBA, where Hussle had long, deep and authentic ties. For the host Justin Tinsley and many young Black men in the league, like DeMar DeRozan, Isaiah Thomas, and Demarcus Cousins, Nipsey was far beyond a rapper who wrote the score to their lives. Hip hop has always been woven with basketball in one way or another, but why was this connection so deep? What was it about Nipsey Hussle that made him far more than a friend, but rather an inspiration and beacon of light they carry with them for the rest of their lives?
Episode 2: Where You From?
Nipsey Hussle is a Los Angeles icon, but what’s the story behind that? Before the fame, he was Ermias Asghedom, a young kid coming of age in the South Crenshaw district. Life in South LA was beautiful, but it wasn’t for the weak of heart either. This episode is a look into the world that raised, bruised, and ultimately made Nipsey Hussle the man he became.
Episode 3: Songs in the Key of Life
There are a ton of descriptions that could properly summarize Nipsey Hussle’s music career. But “overnight” isn’t one of them. A decade-plus-long journey through time that weaves in the highs, lows, joys and pains of Nipsey’s voyage to his debut album ‘Victory Lap.’ And how that marathon ran parallel with the NBA players who were in awe of his every move.
Episode 4: Songs in the Key of Life
Nipsey traveled across the world, but all of his love and loyalty funneled back to the community that raised him. With the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue as his headquarters, this episode looks at Nipsey’s devout local commitment — and how that played out in the worlds of business, philanthropy and social justice as many young Black men in the NBA began to actively engage in those areas as well. In death, Nipsey left a blueprint for this friends to follow, and through them, Nipsey’s prophetic mantra, ‘The Marathon Continues’ will do just that.