The late rapper Nipsey Hussle’s family is fighting for his life’s work and his legacy, even after his untimely death. The estate is suing his “other family”, the Crips, in an unexpected battle over the rapper’s signature trademark, “The Marathon Continues”, after his 2011 mixtape of the same name.
On March 31, 2019, the “Last Time I Checc’d” rapper, activist, and entrepreneur was unfortunately gunned down in the parking lot of his South Los Angeles store, Marathon Clothing. Since his death, his brother Samiel Asghedom, aka “Blacc Sam”, has been relentlessly keeping his brother’s legacy alive, and has also been appointed the permanent administrator of Hussle’s estate.
After his passing, the slogan gained much more popularity as it was associated with his character. Shortly after Nipsey’s passing, Blacc Sam filed paperwork in order for his late brother’s signature slogan “The Marathon Continues” to be trademarked for entertainment services, music, and “charitable activities and the doing of good deeds for others and the promotion of ethical and character values.” In a wild twist of events, however, the Crips also filed documents in order to trademark the slogan a well for the same purposes.
Throughout his career, Nipsey Hussle was known to be affiliated with the Rolling 60’s Neighborhood Crips, hence why the gang organization perhaps feel entitled to ownership of the slogan. According to a report from The Blast, Blacc Sam’s filing came twelve days after his filing through their holding company, and when it was revealed to him, the backlash ensued.
The Crips issued a reason behind their wanting to trademark the signature phrase. “The Crips organization has long used the phrase ‘The Marathon Continues’ as our ideology slogan in the past. Ermias, became a well-known Crip and the phrase became popularized,” they stated.
After months of a legal war between the Crips and the Asghedom family, the Crips decided to retreat from their initial filing, realizing their wrongs in the fight for his legacy. “There will absolutely be no trademark legal battle between their organization and Blacc Sam, brother of the late Nipsy Hussle,” stated an official for the official company formed on the street gang’s behalf, Crips LLC.
A statement was issued by William King Hollis, spokesperson for the Crips, on the matter. “We realize that our actions may have been offensive and we have reached out to his family, respectively Nips sister, Samantha Smith,” it read. “We are deeply sorry for any disruptions and melee that the trademark acquisition may have caused to his family, friends and fans.” The statement continued adding that not only do they surrender, but they also “respectively vow to support the wishes of Lauren London and the Asghedom family.”
It seems as though they have backtracked on their decision to abandon the legal battle because a few weeks ago it was revealed that the Crips went ahead with filing for the trademark. In order to thwart their efforts, Blacc Sam has filed a legal complaint against the street gang.
According to XXL, the documents have Samiel Asghedom as the trademark owner for “The Marathon Clothing” for shirts, T-shirts, sweaters, beanies, hats, sweatsuits, varsity jackets, pants and socks. The trademark filling date was Dec. 28, 2014 and the registration date is March 15, 2016.
The publication reports Asghedom also owns the rights to the following phrases derived from the original slogan: The Marathon Continues, The Marathon Clothing, The Marathon (Clothing), The Marathon Store, The Marathon (Store), Marathon OG, and Marathon Film in the United States in relation to “goods and services, including but not limited to philanthropic services, charitable services, film, and video production services, film, and video writing and directing services, clothing, headwear, and footwear.”
The estate is seeking monetary damages and a judgment that orders the organization to destroy all merchandise and paraphernalia using the slogan.