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The man who killed rising rap star Nipsey Hussle has been convicted

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

In 2019, the rising rap star Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed outside his own clothing store in South LA. A jury has found the shooter, a man named Eric R. Holder, guilty of first-degree murder. NPR's Andrew Limbong has more.

ANDREW LIMBONG, BYLINE: During the trial, Eric R. Holder's defense argued that it was a crime of passion. The two men were part of the same gang, the Rollin 60s, and when Nipsey Hussle called Holder a snitch, it enraged him enough that Holder left and returned with a gun 9 minutes later and shot and killed the rapper. The jury wasn't convinced and found Holder, who has no relation to the former U.S. attorney general, guilty of first-degree murder, putting a capstone on one of the most high-profile murder cases in recent hip-hop.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GRINDING ALL MY LIFE")

NIPSEY HUSSLE: (Rapping) All my life, been running all my life.

LIMBONG: Nipsey Hussle was a revered figure in his scene. In a 2018 interview with Hot 97, he talked about how he and his era of rap peers were trying to change how gang culture intersected with music.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NIPSEY HUSSLE: We saw what happened with Death Row. We saw what happened when gangbanging spills into music. You get, you know, the perfect storm for destruction.

LIMBONG: Holder will be sentenced in September. He could face life in prison. Andrew Limbong, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Andrew Limbong is a reporter for NPR's Arts Desk, where he does pieces on anything remotely related to arts or culture, from streamers looking for mental health on Twitch to Britney Spears' fight over her conservatorship. He's also covered the near collapse of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic. He's the host of NPR's Book of the Day podcast and a frequent host on Life Kit.
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