Shortly after the death of rapper Nipsey Hussle, a 31-year-old fan from Wisconsin created a meme listing all of the books that the artist/entrepreneur mentioned throughout his career. The list includes self-help bestsellers, cult classics and lesser known works by Black authors.
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The list went viral, and inspired several fans to launch a book club based on the titles. As reported by PEOPLE, 74 black men and two Latinos make up the four chapters of The Marathon Book Club. They meet monthly in Oakland, New York, Washington, D.C., and L.A., to discuss the books that motivated Nipsey.
The collective range from entrepreneurs and academics to corporate executives, and was profiled in a Los Angeles Times article published on Jan. 5.
The list includes books like the memoir “Blood in My Eye” by inmate-turned-activist George Jackson, and “The Spook Who Sat by the Door” by Sam Greenlee.
nipsey’s mind intrigued me so i compiled a book list of gems he had read. i’ll continue to update it as well. pic.twitter.com/HHlPatp44f
— ਸਿਮਰਨ 🇮🇳 (@theSIMSITY) April 12, 2019
here’s an updated list of the gems nipsey had read. pass the baton. 🏁 pic.twitter.com/nfwUo7DC75
— ਸਿਮਰਨ 🇮🇳 (@theSIMSITY) April 13, 2019
Rapper The Game also dropped a list of 25 books that Nip read (see Instagram post below).
It’s been 4 weeks since we lost nip & it all still feels unreal to me. I look at pictures & still can’t seem to make reality out of the hashtags attached to them,” he wrote last April on Instagram. “But before I go into a story or choice of words that may sadden anyone’s day, I’m going to keep it short today & leave you guys with a list of 25 books nip read in hopes they may comfort, enlighten or educate you in areas needed.”
In an interview before his death, Hussle spoke about the importance of reading.
“I didn’t really graduate high school. I left early when I was like 14, but I always had books around me,” he said. “I just read things that I was interested in. I started off reading magazines, that’s how I learned about hip-hop culture outside of L.A.”
He added: “A lot of my best ideas, a lot of my business savvy… came from books. I read books about the industry, I read books about the deals that was done in the industry, and [how] these dudes held out and made certain decisions that empowered them for the rest of their careers.”