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Nipsey Hussle Memorial Basketball Court ... Gets Ribbon Cutting

4/14/2019 2:16 PM PDT

Nipsey Hussle will live on in the Crenshaw District with a public basketball court that now bares his image across 78 feet of pavement ... which is getting a ribbon cutting Sunday.

A court outside the Crete Academy charter school -- which is just blocks away from where Nipsey was killed -- is holding an event that'll unveil the gorgeous mural done by artist Gustavo Zermeno, which was put into motion by Venice Basketball League's CEO, Nick Ansom.

Ansom told the media that the court was done as a way to pay Nipsey back for all his work in the community. Nipsey was a big sports fan, especially of hoops. 

After the ribbon cutting at 3 PM, there's gonna be some games ran on the new court. There will be a high school showcase at 4 PM, and then an All-Star game at 5 PM. There's no telling who might show, but ya gotta imagine some famous faces could surface.

The memorial court is just the latest tribute to Nipsey -- who was murdered two weeks ago in front of his Marathon Clothing store. He died at the young age of 33. 

A Celebration of Life for Nipsey was just held at the STAPLES Center in DTLA, which drew tons of fans all over California. The procession that followed was a heavily guarded affair as fans flocked to see Nip pass through South L.A. one final time.

His family also held a private funeral service for him on Friday.

Master P Nipsey is Beloved Just Like MJ ... Teyana Snaps at Scalpers!!!

4/10/2019 5:48 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Master P says the outpouring of love for Nipsey Hussle proves he was approaching the level of respect and adoration Michael Jackson fans had for him -- and he says you'll see that on display at Staples Center. 

We got the hip-hop mogul outside Nipsey's Marathon Clothing store in South L.A. where he paid his respects and had glowing things to say about the slain MC. Master P says Nipsey might be gone, but his impact on the community will not be forgotten.

When he brought up Nipsey's Celebration of Life -- set for Thursday morning at Staples -- MP said that event is a testament to how many lives Nip touched. He added ... people who didn't realize Nipsey's importance when he was alive are getting the picture now.  

We also got Teyana Taylor at LAX Wednesday and asked her thoughts on Thursday's memorial service ... which scalpers have tried to exploit by charging big money for the free tickets. 

You can tell she's still disillusioned by Nipsey's murder, saying it still doesn't feel real. Check out her message to the scumbag scalpers too. She has some choice words for 'em.

BTW ... the gorgeous mural Master P mentioned is just about complete, courtesy of street artist Danny Mateo, who says he's been working on it for the past 4 days.

Nipsey Hussle Memorial to be Heavily Guarded ... To Avoid Vigil Chaos

4/10/2019 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nipsey Hussle's Downtown L.A. memorial service will be a heavily guarded affair -- and it's got a lot to do with the chaos that broke out at a vigil a week before ... TMZ has learned.

Sources familiar with Nipsey's Celebration of Life at the Staples Center arena this Thursday tell us there will be an abundance of security from multiple agencies and organizations -- all with the intention of keeping the memorial peaceful and drama-free.

We're told security on hand Thursday will feature a mix of muscle -- from members of the LAPD, members of the Nation of Islam, as well as Staples Center personnel. Our sources say the LAPD is only on hand to offer assistance ... helping to move traffic, keep the peace and to step in if needed. 

The reason for such a strong presence ... our sources say a big part of it has to do with Nipsey's family's wishes in wanting to prevent further violence -- especially in the wake of the chaos that broke out at Nipsey's L.A. vigil last week ... which cops now say left 2 people shot.

According to a search warrant -- obtained by TMZ -- cops are still on the hunt for the person who allegedly pulled the trigger with the intent of killing others. A possible added danger to Thursday's ceremony.

As we first reported ... Staples Center honchos and officials with the LAPD were heavily involved with the planning early on, and it appears they're gonna keep a close watch on how people come in and out.

The logistics for Thursday's event were released Monday, and tickets were gone within a couple minutes after they were released on Tuesday. The tickets became such a hot item, second-hand websites shut down pages trying to sell them for hundreds of dollars.

Folks will also have to go through metal detectors and undergo bag checks at the entrance, so it's clear they're taking the security pretty seriously.

Nipsey Hussle Memorial Service Tix ... Here's How to Snag Them for Free

4/8/2019 3:33 PM PDT

Nipsey Hussle's memorial service will be a free event for the public -- but tickets are limited, so you'll have to be up early Tuesday to get yours ... you'll have to live in Cali too.

The logistics for Thursday's event -- which has been dubbed "Nipsey Hussle's Celebration of Life" -- are up on Staples Center's website, and it breaks down how to gain entry to the ceremony. Complimentary tickets will be available Tuesday at 10 AM PT via AXS.com. A big caveat ... tickets will be reserved for California residents only -- and each household gets 4 max.

There are more stipulations for the event itself, which starts at 10 AM sharp and runs 'til noon. According to SC ... all guests in a group must enter the premise together with their tickets in hand, and everyone will be subject to metal detector screenings and bag screenings. 

No backpacks are allowed, nor are bags larger than 14" x 14" x  6". Out of respect for Nipsey's family, cameras and recording devices won't be allowed inside the venue either. Non-alcoholic beverages and light snacks will be available for purchase inside.

TMZ broke the story ... Nipsey's family and honchos at Staples Center got together Friday and discussed logistics on how to honor Nipsey there. LAPD officials were also present at the meeting to help plan for security and safety for this upcoming Thursday.

Nipsey was shot and killed a week ago Sunday in front of his Marathon Clothing store. His alleged shooter, Eric Holder, has been charged for murder ... for which he pled not guilty.

Kanye West Honors Nipsey At Sunday Service

4/7/2019 2:40 PM PDT

Kanye West is the latest huge star to pay tribute to Nipsey Hussle ... and he did it with his Sunday Service. 

Ye was holding his weekly outdoor concert Sunday -- per usual -- but at one point during the show ... he played audio of Nipsey's voice delivering some inspirational words about encouragement over music that was beginning to build, courtesy of Kanye who was DJing.

The choir and live band take it from there, as they start to play out what sounds like a hymn for Nipsey. You can also see North West getting into the vibe too.

Kanye's shout-out to Nipsey follows J. Cole dedicating an entire song to the L.A. rapper during his inaugural Dreamville Fest Saturday. Big Sean held a special moment for Nipsey at the same event.

There's gonna be a memorial service for Nipsey at the Staples Center on Thursday. No word yet if music will be incorporated, but Nipsey's peers have had that covered so far.

Chris Darden Daughter Getting Harassed Over Dad Defending Nipsey's Alleged Killer

4/7/2019 1:29 PM PDT

Chris Darden repping Nipsey Hussle's alleged murderer is having repercussions he might not have seen coming, so says the guy's daughter ... who's now getting harassed.

Jenee Darden -- one of Chris' adult children -- posted a statement on IG Sunday, saying she's been receiving "vile" comments and messages ever since the news broke last week that her dad was serving as Eric Holder's defense attorney.

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Darden pled not guilty on behalf of Holder after he was charged with murder, but his mere presence in the courtroom took many people aback ... as he'd previously served as one of the prosecutors on the O.J. Simpson case, which he lost.

Jenee says there's been tons of backlash aimed at her because of Chris' recent decision to rep Holder, which she says is unwarranted ... because her father is a grown man and picks the cases he wants to take on. She says she has no say on any of that. 

She also says she found about Chris' involvement in the case like everyone else ... scrolling through social media.

More interestingly, Jenee appears to be siding with Nipsey and his grieving family over her own father ... saying she grew up in a community similar to Nipsey's and understands why it's hit so hard for so many people to lose a mighty figure like him to a senseless murder.

Jenee goes on to say that the folks who are attacking her online should channel their energy toward continuing Nipsey's legacy by strengthening communities and continuing to uplift one another.

She ends by saying that although she's not sure how this case will play out, she'll continue to pray for Nipsey's family ... while also wishing them peace and justice.

J. Cole Performs 'Love Yourz' for Nipsey ... At Dreamville Festival

4/7/2019 11:35 AM PDT

J. Cole took a moment during his sold-out Dreamville Festival to honor the late Nipsey Hussle -- and it was quite a special sight to behold.

The North Carolina grown MC was in Raleigh Saturday night, where he packed out Dix Park with no less than 40,000 people who flocked to his inaugural music festival. At one point during the show, Cole performed his hit, "Love Yourz," which he dedicated to Nip.

It was a touching tribute, with video footage of the slain L.A. rapper playing on a giant monitor behind JC the whole time.

Even before Cole got a single line of lyrics out, the crowd took over and sang the opening verses of the track. It seems like a live band was used for the performance too ... which sounded great.

Cole ended "Love Yourz" with an explicit shout out to Nipsey, telling the crowd to make some noise him and to not put their lit cellphones down. The crowd happily obliged. 

Big Sean also paid a special tribute to Nipsey during his Dreamville Fest set, going in on what sounded like a fresh freestyle that he appeared to write specifically for the moment.

Sean sent a sweet message to Nipsey himself too, saying he could still feel his energy while going on to thank him for his talent and work in his community. 

A memorial will be held for Nipsey Hussle at the Staples Center in L.A. this upcoming Thursday. It's unclear if the event will feature any music, but if not ... Cole and co. certainly handled that here.

Coachella Stagehand Dies While Setting Up ... Weekend Before Festival

4/6/2019 4:31 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

4:29 PM PT -- Goldenvoice issued a statement about the worker who died Saturday, saying ... "Today, Goldenvoice lost a colleague, a friend, a family member. Our friend fell while working on a festival stage. It is with heavy hearts and tremendous difficulty that we confirm his passing. He has been with our team for 20 years in the desert and was doing what he loved. He was a hard-working and loving person that cared deeply about his team. As our lead rigger, he was responsible for the countless incredible shows that have been put on at the festival. We will miss him dearly."

There's already a death on Coachella's doorstep one week before the festival officially gets underway ... TMZ has learned.

A worker died Saturday morning at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA while he was helping set up one of the many stages at the venue. Eyewitnesses on the ground tell us the guy was climbing the stage scaffolding to do some rigging ahead of opening day next Friday.

It's unclear exactly how or why, but we're told the man fell about 60 feet to the ground -- as he wasn't clipped in, meaning he had no safety harness attached to a cable to prevent him from plummeting.

An Indio Police spokesperson confirms that a call was placed around 9:30 AM PT Saturday to report an industrial accident on the Coachella Concert grounds for somebody who'd fallen near the staging area. Police and fire units responded, but we're told the victim was pronounced dead on the scene.

The IPD rep says the exact circumstances surrounding the man's death is under investigation. 

Coachella appears to have carried on without very many fatalities up until 2014, when a female festival goer died of a drug overdose ... which is believed to be one of the first -- if not, the only -- deaths to occur in Coachella's two-decade history.

We've reached out to Goldenvoice -- which puts on Coachella each year -- for comment ... so far, no word back.

Originally Published -- 1:12 PM PT

Nipsey Hussle Life in Danger ... Days Before Murder

4/2/2019 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Someone was out to kill Nipsey Hussle just days before he was murdered ... and those working with him were warned as such, and took extreme measures to protect him. 

Nipsey filmed a music video Thursday for an upcoming song he, DJ Khaled and John Legend collaborated on called "Higher." The track will appear on Khaled's upcoming album. 

Sources on the Inglewood set tell TMZ ... there was great concern over Nipsey's safety during the shoot ... specifically over the parking structure the crew used to film. Our sources say the production team wanted the entire structure shut down so that only folks working the shoot would have access. 

We're told production only booked the top two floors of the parking structure. People were able to park underneath the top floors.

More shocking ... our sources say the production hired 10 armed police officers because of concerns over Nipsey's safety. It's unclear why, but we're told they were scared someone would try sneaking on set and killing him.

Seems the protection worked ... our sources tell us things went off without a hitch.

Of course, just a few days later ... Nipsey was gunned down in front of his own storefront, no less. Just hours before the shooting, Nipsey cryptically tweeted about "enemies." 

Police are still looking for the shooter, who's only been described as a black male in his 20s. Cops have said they suspect the killing might be gang-related.

Nipsey was only 33. RIP

T.I. Nipsey Hussle's Murder A Case of Us vs. Us

4/1/2019 3:16 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nipsey Hussle is dead because the gunman couldn't stand to see another person shining and leading his community by example ... so says T.I.

Tip is clearly going through a ton of emotions after Nipsey's murder, but still joined us Monday on 'TMZ Live' to offer his theory behind WHY anyone in the rapper's beloved Crenshaw neighborhood would kill him. Ironically, he believes it's Nipsey's amazing outreach to his community -- countless efforts to improve lives -- that sparked a jealous rage inside the shooter.

T.I. says the guy who pulled the trigger is probably trapped in a mindset of hating to see someone from his block, or someone who looks like him ... advancing in life. The sad part being ... that's exactly the kind of person Nipsey tried to uplift.

Check out T.I.'s breakdown of what he sees as a senseless crime ... he points to jealousy and envy as possible motivations -- but it's deeper than that, according to him.

Like The Game, T.I. says he's disgusted and disheartened by Nipsey's killing. 

Despite life-saving measures by paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the hospital. Law enforcement sources tell us cops are looking for a black male in his 20s, who escaped in what appeared to be a waiting vehicle after he rolled up by foot.

In the meantime, T.I. -- like the rest of L.A. -- is awaiting answers.

The Game Y'all Killed Nipsey in His Own Hood?!? Breaks Down Over Murder

4/1/2019 7:31 AM PDT

Everyone is heartbroken over the murder of Nipsey Hussle -- but none perhaps more so than The Game ... who lost sleep over it, and broke down while roaming the streets.

Game posted a few videos of himself driving early Monday morning -- around 4 AM, apparently -- in the wake of Nipsey's shooting death just hours earlier near Crenshaw. You don't see his face, but you can hear how distraught the Compton rapper is over it all.

He's dumbfounded by the fact Nipsey was gunned down at his own place of business ... and in his own neighborhood in the Crenshaw District, no less. Game's disgusted by it, especially because NH was doing so much good in the area.

Game ends with saying, "LA on some bulls***, on me" ... which is similar to how Jay-Z responded when XXXTentacion was shot to death in Florida last year. Jay put the "streets" on blast in a song --  and it sounds like Game is doing the same here. 

TMZ broke the story ... Nipsey was shot to death Sunday afternoon in front of his Marathon Clothing store in the Hyde Park neighborhood of L.A., just south of Crenshaw. Paramedics tried to save him, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital. He was just 33.

Nipsey had worked with countless hip-hop artists, including The Game. The music community at large has widely mourned his passing with shock and remorse.

Nipsey Hussle Dead at 33 ... Coroner Says Fatal Shots to Head & Torso

4/1/2019 2:53 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

2:50 PM PT -- The L.A. County Medical Coroner says Nipsey died from gunshot wounds to his head and torso. He was pronounced dead Sunday at 3:55 PM ... at a downtown L.A. hospital. 

4/1 -- Nipsey Hussle was enjoying March Madness like the rest of us Saturday night -- less than 24 hours before he was gunned down Sunday. The rapper was sitting courtside in Anaheim, CA for the Texas Tech/Gonzaga game. This is one of the last known public photos of him out there.

7:50 PM PT -- Somebody is already claiming to have been the one who shot and killed Nipsey Hussle. An artist by the name of Cinco says he was on Instagram Live Sunday after news broke that Nipsey had been shot. He says in the middle of his Live session, a young man under the username @gasstongbo hopped on with his own video and said he was the shooter. 

Check out the interaction ... the guy says he literally walked up on Nipsey and shot him in front of his "daughter." Nipsey was photographed right before the shooting in the presence of a young child, but it's unclear if that was his kid or not.

We should make clear ... we do NOT know if this is the same man police have ID'd as the suspect in the case. It's simply someone who is making a claim to the crime. 

6:02 PM PT -- Our sources are clear ... this appears to be gang-related to the law enforcement officers working the case. 

5:46 PM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell TMZ  ... the suspect cops are looking for is a black male in his 20s. We're told he approached Nipsey and co. by foot Sunday afternoon and fired multiple shots ... only to depart right after in what we're told appeared to be a nearby waiting vehicle with a separate driver, who our sources say was female. 

5:12 PM PT -- Our law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Nipsey Hussle has died. He was 33 years old. He's survived by two children and his girlfriend, Lauren London, with whom he had a child in 2016. 

4:32 PM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... 3 people were shot at Nipsey's store, and one just died at the hospital. It's unclear if that person is Nipsey. We're being told that one man fled in a vehicle after the shooting. Nipsey Hussle was just shot in L.A. ... TMZ has learned.

Multiple sources tell us the rapper was gunned down Sunday in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, south of the Crenshaw area. We're told he was at his clothing company called The Marathon Clothing. He opened the place back in 2017.

His condition is unknown at this point, but eyewitnesses say they heard multiple shots. Police and paramedics have swarmed the area and taped off the crime scene.

Nipsey received CPR on the scene as well. Videos are circulating showing him receiving CPR from an EMT, who's doing chest compressions. 

What's crazy ... Nipsey seems to have tweeted right before the shooting, and alluded to "enemies." He wrote, "Having strong enemies is a blessing."

Nipsey -- who's from the Crenshaw area of L.A. -- is said to have ties to the Crips. That hasn't stopped him from working with artists who have rival gang affiliations ... he's made music with both YG and The Game -- both of whom have been tied to Bloods.

Nipsey has also worked with other huge names in the industry, like Drake, Childish Gambino, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, Young Thug, Snoop Dogg, Ne-Yo, Kirko Bangz, Dom Kennedy, Tyga, Jadakiss, Chamillionaire and many, many others.

He's released multiple mixtapes over the course of his 10-plus year career but just dropped his first studio album last year. It's called "Victory Lap" ... and it got him a Grammy nod for Best Rap Album just a month ago. Nipsey lost out to Cardi B at the award show.

Nipsey's mixtapes date back to 2005. He dropped 10 projects independently before releasing his debut album, which was distributed through his own record label, All Money In, and Atlantic Records. 

Despite being a polished rapper, Nipsey was no stranger to the streets. He got roped into a brawl out in West Hollywood back in December of 2018 ... which turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

This isn't the first time trouble has descended onto Nipsey's store either. Gunfire erupted there back in September of 2018, but no one was shot. Nipsey was not at the store that time.

Nipsey was incredibly involved in his local community, in which he worked to prevent gang violence. He helped spear a major art initiative in his home neighborhood called "Destination Crenshaw" -- a 1.3-mile open-air museum that will feature local art.

He also recently helped launch Vector 90 -- a Crenshaw district based STEM learning center and workspace dedicated to developing science and technology education in the area.

During a showcasing of Vector 90 last year, Nipsey told the LA Times ... "I grew up in gang culture. We dealt with death, with murder. It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it. I guess they call it post-traumatic stress, when you have people that have been at war for such a long time. I think L.A. suffers from that because it’s not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while."

Nipsey has been dating Lauren London since at least 2015, when she got pregnant with their child. They kept a low profile as a couple, but stirred up engagement rumors when they did a coordinated shoot for GQ back in January ... where they were wearing matching white outfits. 

Speaking of GQ, Nipsey and Lauren had worked with them quite recently by doing a "Couples Quiz," which just got released a few days ago.

Lauren hasn't said anything publicly about Nipsey's shooting.

Originally Published -- 4:08 PM PT

Nipsey Hussle Music Soars on Amazon, iTunes ... In Wake of His Murder

4/1/2019 9:23 AM PDT

Nipsey Hussle's murder has rocked the music world, but it has also sparked new spins on his most beloved tunes -- 'cause the rapper is dominating the charts.

The Crenshaw rapper's music has soared on Amazon and iTunes in the wake of his fatal shooting, with a lot of his former projects jumping up in position by as much as 500%. Specifically, Nipsey's debut studio album, "Victory Lap," has skyrocketed to the #1 album on Amazon's Movers & Shakers list ... having risen by a whopping 504,766%.

That's not all though -- Nipsey's album and previous mixtapes actually occupy all four top slots on Amazon's Movers & Shakers list. "Victory Lap" has also jumped to #2 on Amazon's overall bestsellers in digital music. 

Nipsey's making an impact on iTunes as well -- his studio album is ranked second on its album chart, and his mixtape, "Crenshaw," has climbed to #12 on the list.

For the record, "Victory Lap" was nominated for Best Rap Album at this year's Grammy Awards. It lost out to Cardi B's record, but it was still a major milestone for Nipsey.

TMZ broke the story ... Nipsey was shot and killed Sunday outside of his Marathon Clothing store in South L.A. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

He was 33.

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