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Inspired Fresno artists create popular murals of late rapper Nipsey Hussle around town

The late rapper Nipsey Hussle had such a profound effect within the inner city Fresno community that two murals have popped up around town this week.

And a third is set to be created over the weekend.

One mural is located in northwest Fresno, just outside the front door of High City Smoke Shop near Shaw and Highway 99.

And it’s garnered much attention on social media with many stopping by to take a photo since the mural went up Monday (it’s scheduled to be completed sometime next week).

Among those to snap a photo with the mural was Fresno City quarterback Jonah Johnson.

“Long live Nip,” several people wrote on social media, and often accompanied their posts with #NipseyForever.

A prayer vigil in honor of Hussle will be held around 7 p.m. Friday in downtown Fresno, at the Cultural Arts District park along Fulton Street.

The mural in northwest Fresno depicts Hussle wearing a do-rag and with his eyes closed.

Local artist Don Parske also highlights Hussle’s tattoo near his right eye that reads “God Will Rise.”

A second mural of Hussle, whose real name is Ermias Asghedom, is located near downtown Fresno in an alley near Belmont and Blackstone avenues.

Painted by local artist Daniel Munoz, the Hussle mural is around the corner from murals of boxing champion Jose Ramirez and former Oakland Raiders coach Tom Flores.

“I commend anyone who can use such a high platform to make a genuine difference in his community,” Munoz said in an Instagram message. “When I found out he had been killed, I definitely felt the need to commemorate him.”

The downtown Fresno mural shows the rapper with a full beard and cornrows on his head.

Both murals are about six feet tall.

Nipsey hussle mural
This mural of rapper Nipsey Hussle is located in an alley way near Belmont and Blackstone avenues. Photographed Thursday, April 4, 2019 in Fresno. Larry Valenzuela lvalenzuela@fresnobee.com

A third mural is set to be painted Sunday in central Fresno at the House of Ink Tattoo at 725 N. Fresno St.

It’ll be painted by Omar “Super” Huerta, who has painted more than 200 murals around the Fresno area, including the ones of Ramirez and Flores.

“He was a prolific artist who deserves a memorial mural,” Huerta said of Hussle. “I am definitely inspired and I’m looking forward to it.”

Hussle, 33, might’ve been best known for his music. He was, after all, nominated for a Grammy.

But it was his commitment to helping rebuild South Los Angeles — the troubled area he grew up in — that seemed to impact many of his followers.

Hussle had been working to provide youths with alternatives to the hustling he did when he was younger.

Professional basketball player Quincy Pondexter, a Fresno native who has been in the NBA since 2010, acknowledged he was inspired by Hussle’s community involvement.

Hussle was fatally shot Sunday outside his clothing store in his Crenshaw neighborhood.

The man suspected of shooting Hussle was charged Thursday with murder.

Police said Hussle and suspected shooter Eric Holder knew each other and had several conversations Sunday outside the rapper’s South Los Angeles store prior to the shooting.

Bryant-Jon Anteola: 559-441-6362, @Banteola_TheBee

Bryant-Jon Anteola is a multimedia reporter for The Fresno Bee, writing stories and producing videos about sports, news and random topics relatable to those in the Fresno area. He’s won a McClatchy President’s Award and received honorable mention by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He enjoys sports because of the competition, camaraderie and energy, and views sports as a microcosm of society.
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