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Burlington artist honors late rapper Nipsey Hussle

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- A Burlington artist honored the late rapper Nipsey Hussle through a portrait drawing.

Tim Martin drew a portrait of Nipsey Hussle. After the news of his death sent shockwaves through people all over the country, Martin wanted to honor the late rapper through his passion for art.

"I did it that night before I went to sleep, I stopped all the portrait work I had to do and drew Nipsey that night," Martin said.

Nipsey Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was shot and killed at his business in Los Angeles on March 31. Hundreds of mourners surrounded his clothing store with flowers and candles.

Martin's artwork was posted on Instagram a day later and was picked up by #TheShadeRoom, an entertainment blog site.

"There's a picture of him looking off to the side and I was like, 'Yeah that's the perfect picture to draw,'" Martin said.

The picture had over a half-million likes on Instagram. Martin was shocked to see how far his portrait was shared with so many people.

Martin's uses charcoal and graphite for all of his portraits. He spent a couple of hours drawing the portrait of Nipsey, capturing vivid details of his facial features and tattoos.

"I just wanted it to be perfect, like when I drew him, I was, 'I got to have everything perfect including the braids,'" Martin said.

Not only did Nipsey's music inspire Martin, but his longing to change the Los Angeles community and people in general inspired Martin.

"He was a leader and a good person. It's so many videos of him doing good by people," Martin said.

Martin has sold copies of the portraits to people in various states.

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