‘Nipsey Russell’ flub is a reminder of how Nipsey Hussle got his name
Some might have considered this a disrespectful slip-up — but for others, it was a reminder that the Nipsey’s stage name was in fact inspired by Julius “Nipsey” Russell.
Here are five things to know about the other Nipsey.
He was an iconic comedian of his generation
Russell refused to use stereotypical dialects or play stereotypical roles in his acts, which broke barriers for rising comedians of all backgrounds.
Sometimes called “the poet laureate of comedy,” Russell regularly recited standard four-line topical poems as part of his routine.
He was seen on the big screen in ‘The Wiz’
Russell is perhaps best known for his role as the Tin Man in the 1978 remake of “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Wiz.” Russell was actually called in last minute to replace Ben Vereen, who was supposed to play the role.
No one knows for sure how old he was
Russell was believed to have been born on October 13, 1924, in Atlanta, Georgia. There’s uncertainty because his birth certificate was lost. When he died in 2005, friends said he was 80 years old.
He served as a captain in the army during WWII
It was a position rarely given to African Americans during that time.
He made frequent appearances on several game shows
Russell was a guest panelist on several game shows between the 1960s to the ’90s, including “To Tell The Truth” and “Match Game PM.”