It was the first time Kerry Lathan spoke publicly since being taken into custody for violating parole because as a convicted murderer, he was not allowed to associate with Hussle, who was technically still a gang member.
"I didn't do anything. I'm a victim," Lathan said. "They said he was a Rollin' 60 but that's not what he is now. He's a celebrity, I took a picture with a celebrity. I met him once, took a selfie."
Lathan was released from the hospital over the weekend after taking a bullet in the back during the shooting in South L.A. last month..
"I have a bullet in my back, and a fragment of it is near my spine. They say if we take it out, there's a possibility you could be paralyzed," Lathan said.
The allegations against Lathan were dropped after Hussle was labeled by many as a pillar of the community.
"If you say a person has made a change, or a (metamorphosis), you can't take an inch worm, then turn it into a butterfly, and put him back into an inch worm. That's what Nipsey did," Lathan said. "He transformed around there and tried to make money off his rap albums to help the community, to give back when there was no one giving back. So how can you put a halo and then put horns?"
Hussle, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, grew up in L.A. The 33-year-old father of two was nominated for the best rap album Grammy this year for his studio debut "Victory Lap."
He opened the Marathon Clothing store in June 2017 and was gunned down there last month. He was described as someone who was working to improve the community where he grew up and had reached out to L.A. officials to work on ways to reduce gang violence.
More than 50 colorful murals of Hussle have popped up across L.A. since the beloved rapper and community activist was killed.