“I am but an ordinary Man. The Times alone have destined me to Fame — and even these have not been able to give me, much…Yet some great Events, some cutting Expressions, some mean Hypocrisies, have at Times, thrown this Assemblage of Sloth, Sleep, and littleness into Rage a little like a Lion.”
I have a vivid memory – so clear that it’s like a snapshot – of sitting in an American Revolution class junior year as my professor, a brilliant man and a wonderful teacher, kept extolling the virtues of George Washington and juxtaposing them with John Adams, whom he referred to as “curmudgeonly” and “acerbic.”
“He saw the whole of a subject at a single glance, and by a happy union of the powers of reasoning and persuasion often succeeded in carrying measures which were at first sight of an unpopular nature.”
I imagine writing a book about John Adams in the 2010’s would be a daunting task.
At first glance, it appears that there is significant difficulty in writing about a member of a revered, almost mythical, group that died nearly two centuries ago.
It’s a cliché that having a child changes your life forever, but things become clichés because they’re true, and one of the biggest adjustments is just how much stuff children come with and how difficult it is to keep it all organized.
Grieve not that I die young. Is it not well to pass away ere life hath lost its brightness?
– Lady Flora Hastings
He was different.
It wasn’t just the $100 Crenshaw mixtape or the Marathon Clothing store or the work he did to quell gang violence and promote his beloved neighborhood’s art and culture.
It was all of that – and so much more.
Ermias Asghedom, known to the rest of us as Nipsey Hussle, was shot and killed at the age of thirty-three in his hometown of Los Angeles. In the days since his shocking death, the phrase that has come up over and over again about the man is, “he was so much more than just rap.”
I know obscure trivia about the group. I have their logo on my coffee mug. I own old issues of The Source and XXL with the group on the cover. I also own items like the “Protect Ya Neck” cassette single, the “C.R.E.A.M.” single on vinyl, and the actual Purple Tape (the cassette version of Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…).