Nipsey Hussle attends the 61st Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Source: Getty Images

Nipsey Hussle’s Philantrophic Efforts Made Him a Saint — But What Religion Did He Belong To?

Nipsey Hussle's legacy lives on long after his death. Here are all the details on the late rapper's religion, ethnic background, and more!


Oct. 23 2023, Published 11:34 a.m. ET

Ermias Joseph Asghedom, or Nipsey Hussle, is regarded to be one of the best rappers to have ever lived.

With several Grammys under his belt and a passion for spreading kindness throughout the Black community, he was taken away from the world too soon when he was murdered in 2019.

Given his long history of philanthropy, fans of the late rapper often wonder what religion he belonged to. And honestly? It's still a tricky question to answer.

Nipsey Hussle performs onstage at the STAPLES Center Concert Sponsored by SPRITE during the 2018 BET Experience on June 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Source: Getty Images
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Exploring Nipsey Hussle's religion

Nipsey's funeral service was held at the Medhani-Alem Eritrean Orthodox Church in Los Angeles, which suggests that the rapper comes from a Christian background.

Nipsey was open about his beliefs when he was alive. Although he didn't explicitly say what religion he subscribed to — let alone whether or not he was religious at all — he did express his faith in a "higher power."

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"I believe in God, I believe in a higher power, I believe in energy, I believe in a creator, I believe in all of that," Nipsey told Power 106 Los Angeles in a 2017 interview. "I make music from my heart and from my soul, and I try to put good energy into the world, and I feel like that’s my connection to God."

Nipsey Hussle speaks to kids at the Nipsey Hussle x PUMA Hoops Basketball Court Refurbishment Reveal Event on Oct. 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
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Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke fondly of Nipsey Hussle

Nipsey was beloved not only by fellow rappers and fans but by religious leaders, as well. In fact, Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan even gave the eulogy at Nipsey's funeral.

"The name Ermias in Eritrean means 'God is rising.' The name Nipsey in that same language means homie, a brother from the hood. He never really left the hood but now the whole world will embrace him as his life and his death changes the hood and produces a profound change in the world," he said at the time.

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Farrakhan's appearance at the funeral alluded that Nipsey was Muslim. But contrary to popular belief, there's no evidence that suggests that Nipsey was a follower of the Nation of Islam.

Where were Nipsey Hussle's parents from? Details on the rapper's ethnic background

While his mother is African-American, Nipsey's father is a refugee from Eritrea. Despite being born in Los Angeles, Nipsey was educated about his father's East African homeland throughout his life.

As he grew older, he took great pride in having such a powerful ancestry. The rapper even visited the country in 2018, just a year before his passing, to get a better connection to his roots.

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Nipsey Hussle raps on stage at the Warner Music Pre-Grammy Party in 2019 wearing red suit jacket.
Source: Getty Images

"More than anything, I am proud of being Eritrean. The history of our country, our struggle and the underdog story, the resilience of the people, and our integrity is something that I feel pride in being attached to," he said in an interview (per Travel Coterie.)

No matter what Nipsey's beliefs were, one thing remains true: He was a voice that was for the culture and his music will continue to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest. R.I.P.

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