Entertainers don't have to be based in or from Detroit to spark local demonstrations, as fans of Los Angeles-based rapper Nipsey Hussle, who died earlier this week in that city, proved Wednesday.
The Detroit News reports that hundreds of local fans came out to mourn the 33-year-old Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, in a demonstration fueled by social media.
As the sun set, they laid flowers and lit candles on the steps of the granite Bagley Memorial Fountain while listening to Hussle's music on twin speakers.
The event, largely fueled by social media less than 24 hours earlier, was a chance to honor a man long respected in hip-hop inner circles but who broke out with his Grammy-nominated major label debut last year.
Police have arrested a suspect in the shooting death of Hussle, said to be a man pursuing a "personal dispute" with the rapper.
Hussle was known as more than an entertainer. He had an entrepreneurial drive and a dedication to his Los Angeles neighborhood, which endeared him to fans. The shooting happened outside a clothing store he opened there, but his plans were more ambitious:
The rapper had recently bought the strip mall and planned to redevelop it into a mixed-use commercial and residential complex. The plan was part of Hussle’s broader ambitions to remake the neighborhood where he grew up and attempt to break the cycle of gang life that lured him in when he was younger.