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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Did Mental Health Issues Influence Eric Holder to Murder Nipsey Hussle?

Eric Holder during his sentencing for the murder of Nipsey Hussle. Photo/Getty Images

The 2019 murder of Ermias Asghedom, better known as the rapper Nipsey Hussle, continues to sadden his followers, as last month's sentencing of his killer reminded his fans of what was lost. His Los Angeles community saw him as a source of inspiration, a beacon of hope, and completely irreplaceable. It's rumored that the gunman Eric Holder murdered Nipsey out of jealousy while in a secret fit of rage that followed a peaceful conversation between the two men at Nipsey's Marathon Clothing store on March 31, 2019. Nipsey reportedly told Eric that a rumor was circulating, saying Eric was a police informant. However, the two associates allegedly shook hands before Eric left the store. Oddly, Holder returned to Marathon Clothing, shot Nipsey 11 times, and wounded three others before fleeing in a car. The true motive behind the entertainer's death remains unclear.

Some may question why Eric would be jealous of the Los Angeles rapper since they were from the same neighborhood and both supposedly belonged to the same Crip gang during their youth. However, both men desired to become rappers. Eric never became successful in music, but Nipsey's career took off. His first studio album, 'Victory Lap' received a Grammy Award nomination just before his death. Nip and his girlfriend, Lauren London, also caught the attention of the footwear line; Puma. The February before his death, he and London did a well-received magazine spread, "California Love with Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London," with GQ. Nip was a significant inspiration to inner-city Los Angeles. He stayed close to his community, regularly embracing and employing fellow community members at his businesses.

Lauren London and Nipsey Hussle for GQ Magazine

In comparison, Eric's life had not flourished much throughout the years. He was arrested for domestic violence, illegally possessing a handgun, and was reportedly still an active gang member. There were probably multiple signs of mental instability; it's rumored that Holder sometimes pulled a handgun on people, demanding they listen to his music.

Holder's attorney, Aaron Jansen, told the court during the trial that his client's long history of mental illness played a role in why he murdered the upcoming star. In fact, Los Angeles authorities arrested Holder for Nipsey's murder outside a mental health facility. During his trial, Holder's father also attested to his mental health issues, explaining the gunman was mourning his mother's death when he took the rap star's life. Yet, there isn't much insight into his life regarding mental health treatment or diagnosis.

Still, it's well-known that mental health is not an easy discussion for American families, especially Black Americans, and many people go undiagnosed and untreated for mental illness. However, many Blacks discard the idea that mental illness caused the shooter to gun down the beloved rapper, and see Nipsey's death as another tragedy caused by self-hatred that too often exists in Black communities. Despite the ongoing violence in South Central LA, Nip knew his people celebrated him; he felt safe amongst his own. His parents found solace in believing that he was sent from heaven, his father, Dawit Asghedom told the Los Angeles Times “God sent him to send a message. We all have a plan, but God has his own plan. So he had completed what he needed to be doing and he did it early so God probably wanted to take him early too.”

Eric Holder was sentenced to sixty years to life in prison last month. While Nip's music, influence, and memory will surely live on, two lives were lost to this situation, and the Black community suffered again.

Long live Nipsey Hussle; the marathon continues.

Lauren London and Nipsey Hussle for GQ Magazine



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