Nipsey Hussle’s shooting death has sparked conspiracy theorists to speculate that the rapper and entrepreneur’s murder was linked to one of the projects he was involved in: a documentary chronicling the trial of Dr. Sebi, an herbalist who famously claimed in the 1980s to have found a cure for AIDS.
Hussle talked about the project during an interview with the Breakfast Club last year.
“I’m working on doing a documentary on the trial in 1985 when Dr. Sebi went to trial against New York because he put in the newspaper [that] he cured AIDS,” he said. “He beat the case and he went to federal court the next day and beat that case, on record, and nobody talk about it.”
Dr. Sebi, who was born Alfredo Bowman, described himself as self-educated on his website. He did not have a medical degree, but was known for his holistic treatments and natural healing methods. He was arrested in 1987 after taking out ads in several New York newspapers claiming that a cure for AIDS was available, the Amsterdam News reported. The city of New York sued him for practicing medicine without a license, but a jury ultimately found him not guilty, having come to the conclusion that the state did not effectively prove that Dr. Sebi had ever made a medical diagnosis, according to paper.
“I think the story’s important. I think it’s a powerful narrative,” Hussle said last year.
Dr. Sebi was arrested for money laundering in 2016 and died in police custody, sparking speculation that his death was not due to the pneumonia he contracted in jail, as authorities have claimed, but the result of something more sinister. It’s a theory that now includes Hussle as well following his untimely death.
In addition to being a rapper, Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was a community leader in south Los Angeles, investing in the neighborhood he grew up in; he was fatally shot outside of his Marathon Clothing store on Sunday afternoon by a suspect that police have since identified as 29-year-old Eric Holder.
After reports that authorities suspected Hussle's shooting was gang-related, police on Tuesday said they believe a personal dispute was at its heart, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Still, theories about Hussle’s death being related to the same conspiracy that allegedly led to Dr. Sebi’s death started trending on Twitter earlier this week, with many pointing to a past interview with Hussle in which he talked about Dr. Sebi’s death and said that others had warned him to be careful.
“N----s is tweeting me, ‘Hussle, be careful, man, yo plane gonna go down,’” he said.
Some on social media are seizing on comments like this to draw a link between Hussle’s death and his documentary on Dr. Sebi, with one fan writing, “They did get you Dr. Sebi. And they probably took Nipsey Hussle too.”
“Dr Sebi declared he cured 13 of his patients suffering from for AIDS, won his case against the US govt then died mysteriously. Nipsey chose to air a documentary on him, now he too is dead. Do you smell a conspiracy?” another Twitter user wrote.
Conspiracy theorists have also pointed to the 2002 death of TLC’s Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes as further proof of a nefarious plot. She visited Dr. Sebi regularly before her death, according to the New York Times.
“Left Eye died in Honduras, on her way to see Dr. Sebi. Dr. Sebi ‘died’ in Honduras. Nipsey Hussle was gonna make a documentary on Dr. Sebi. Now he’s been shot 6 times.. It’s a war and they’re strategic,” one Twitter user wrote.
Lopes died when the SUV she was driving flipped over after she swerved to avoid a truck, throwing her from a vehicle. She wasn't wearing a seatbelt at the time, according to authorities, and the other passengers in the car, including her sister, survived.
Following Hussle’s death, rapper, actor, and producer Nick Cannon seemed to suggest that he’d be taking over the Dr. Sebi documentary in Hussle’s honor. In addition to sharing a number of videos of Dr. Sebi on his Instagram page, Cannon wrote that he’d be “picking up the baton.”
“Now, Your message is my message! Your work is my work!” he wrote.
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