Hip-hop is still reeling from the recent loss of Nipsey Hussle, who was murdered in Crenshaw on Sunday (March 31) outside of the Marathon clothing store that he owned and operated. The late rapper and impactful figure in Los Angeles has received an outpouring of support from fans, peers and loved ones, many of whom have shared warm anecdotes or reflections on the mark that Nipsey left on his community and the world at large.

Alamo Records rapper 03 Greedo is mourning from behind bars. The 31-year-old artist, who is currently serving 20 years on gun and drug charges, spoke with XXL on Monday (April 1) about his friendship with Nipsey and how it influenced his own career. He remembers Nip championing Greedo's 2017 Lil Money-collaborative album, Money Changes Everything, before it had even hit the streets.

"He gave me the light in the city, [like,] 'This is the new thing that's going on,'" 03 Greedo tells XXL via phone. "Without him, I don't think that the rest of the city would embrace me like that. He from the Westside, I'm from the Eastside and there's a separation... That's something that brought the Eastside and Westside together."

The mutual admiration between Nipsey and Greedo wasn't just from afar. The two Cali rappers collaborated in the studio on a few occasions, with tracks in the vault to show. "I played him 'Never Bend' before it ever came out," says Greedo, referencing his crawling 2017 track that helped him break through early on. "He wanted to get on it and he was supposed to, but our schedules kept messin' up. Then I did a few songs with him that were gonna be on Victory Lap. We did like two or three sessions. Last week, he had hit me up for something for his next album."

03 Greedo, who recently earned his GED and is awaiting a parole hearing in 2020, looked to Nipsey as a friend and mentor who helped him navigate the music industry when Greedo was just getting his feet wet.

"Us being street, us being Crips and coming from a street background, some things I wanted to spazz out about, he would always tell me, 'Naw, you gotta do this, you gotta do that,'" Greedo says. "He always would FaceTime me or I'll FaceTime him if I didn't understand something about the industry."

Developments in the case of Nipsey's tragic murder continue to roll in. The accused shooter is Eric Holder, a man thought by police to have had an earlier dust-up with Nip prior to the fatal shooting outside of Nipsey's The Marathon store. Holder has been arrested and charged with murder, two counts of attempted murder (for shooting two men who accompanied Nipsey) and possession of a firearm by a felon. Holder pleaded not guilty to the charges and is facing life in prison if convicted. He is being legally represented by Christopher Darden, an attorney who famously served on the prosecution team that resided over O.J. Simpson's 1995 murder trial.

03 Greedo was slated to drop his collaborative project with DJ Mustard, Still Summer In The Projects, today, yet he's delayed the release as a show of respect for Nipsey's passing.

See Photos of Nipsey Hussle's Different Looks Over the Years

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