Nipsey Hussle's Life Celebrated By Thousands In Los Angeles
Thousands gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday morning (April 11th) to celebrate the life of the late Nipsey Hussle. The memorial service was filled with family, friends and fans in the arena, which holds 21,000, who came to memorialize the rapper who was also known for his activism and the work he did in his community.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS SPEAK ON NIPSEY HUSSLE
Lauren London spoke of her longtime boyfriend, and shared a text that she sent him from back in January. The text said, "I’m in bed while you’re sleeping and I wanted to tell u something. I want you to know I feel real joy in my heart when I’m around you. I feel safe around you. Protected. Like a shield over me when you’re around. I am totally myself with you (which is prob why I’m annoying) because I don’t wear a cool mask anymore. You’ve made me into more of a woman. You’ve given me an opportunity to really love a man. You’ve been with me while I’ve been sick. Through my fears. U have encouraged me. And inspired me to reach higher. I’ve learned so much more about myself with you. You’ve been my turn up and my church. I wouldn’t want to go thru this journey with anyone but you. I look up to you in a lot of ways and strive to educate myself more like you have. And when we’re at odds…I feel defeated and sad, knowing we are so much better than that. I just want you to know that you’ve been the greatest boyfriend to me. You aren’t perfect but I would never ask you to be. You and I work. We fit. And…you’re still the coolest guy in the world to me. Still! I love you so much. Unconditionally. My truth is this. I’m never going to give up on you. My loyalty and devotion is to you."
She also spoke of Nipsey, revealing that his death was a type of pain that she had never felt before, but it lets her know that God is alive. London said, "I've never felt this type of pain before but it lets me know that God is alive. His soul was majestic and he was the strongest man I've ever knew. He was a gentle father, a patient leader and a divine light, he was brilliant. He researched everything, completely self-taught and constantly speaking knowledge. He would go to bed and listen to these audiobooks in his headphones and I would tease him but I really thought that was the coolest sh*t ever about it. In the morning when he'd wake up, he's played music for the kids, light his sage and burn it around the house to make sure our energy going outside would be uplifted and can handle the say. My pain is for my 2-year-old who won’t probably remember how much his dad loved him. This is something I don't really understand but Ermias used to say that you can't possess people, you experience them and I'm so honored and blessed that I got to experience such a man."
She continued, "I know everyone is hurting but I'd like to say something to my city of Los Angeles. We know what Nip did to us, we lost an incredible soul. We lost someone very rare to us and we lost a real one. We won't ever be the same. But in Hussle's words, 'The game is gonna test you, never fold. Stay ten toes down. It's not on you, it's in you and what's in you, they cannot take away and he's in all of us.' To Ermias, the love of my life, you know what it is. Grief is the final act of love. My heart hears you. I feel you everywhere. I'm so grateful that I had you. I love you beyond this earth. And until we meet again, The Marathon Continues."
Nipsey’s older brother, Samiel Asghedom, also spoke. While fighting back tears, Samiel said of his younger brother, "You made the world proud...the whole family appreciates everything and my grandma loved him to death and he loved her to death and I know she was already proud. She can't even believe the news and the people calling and the love people feel about bro...understanding what he meant to everybody else is very big."
He also spoke on Nipsey purchasing the lot where his Marathon Clothing store is located, and said, "He bought the lot, man, I don't know how he did it, and that was a big thing for bro because he used to sell CDs out the trunk. He used to be in that parking lot, they used to kick them out of it a lot. honestly don't know how we did it, but we were able to close and get the lot. Nip was proud of that, happy of that accomplishment."
Snoop Dogg took the stage and shared fond memories of Nipsey as well. After acknowledging Lauren London, saying, "Every time I would see Nip and Lauren out...it was black excellence," and Nipsey’s mother and father, he spoke on the rapper giving him a copy of his CD, but not asking for a record deal like many others. Snoop said, "Most rappers, when they push up on Snoop Dogg with a tape, this is their line: ‘Hey dog, listen to my music, I can make you a million dollars.’ Nipsey’s line was, ‘hey homie, listen to my music. Just give it a listen.’ That’s it? No record deal? You don’t want to get put on? To me, he had vision to know and understand, I don’t want to be handed out nothing. I’m going to come get mine."
Snoop also spoke on people comparing him and Nipsey, saying, "I think it was the fact that he was tall, he was lanky, he had braids, he had that LA mentality. And he claimed a gang, so it’s natural to be categorized. But one thing me and Nip had was a kind spirit. We had that spirit of love. People magnate to Snoop Dogg, and they magnate towards Nipsey. When we met, it was like a magnet coming together."
Former President Barack Obama even wrote a letter to Nipsey, which was read by Nipsey's friend and business partner, Karen Civil. In the letter, Obama said, "I’d never met Nipsey Hussle, but I’d heard some of his music through my daughters, and after his passing, I had the chance to learn more about his transformation and his community work. While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that, even though its flaws, taught him to always keep going. His voice to invest in that community rather than ignore it — to build a skills-training center and a coworking space in Crenshaw; to lift up the Eritrean-American community; to set an example for young people to follow — is a legacy worthy of celebration. I hope his memory inspires more work in Crenshaw and communities like it. Michelle and I send our sympathies to Lauren, Emani, Kross and the entire Asghedom family and to all those who loved Nipsey."
PERFORMANCES AT NIPSEY HUSSLE’S MEMORIAL
There were a number of performances at Nipsey’s Celebration of Life as well. Marsha Ambrosius sang Mariah Carey’s "Fly Like A Bird."
Anthony Hamilton performed "Pass Me Over."
Jhené Aiko performed an original record titled, "Eternal Sunshine."
Stevie Wonder also performed "Rocket Love."
NIPSEY HUSSLE’S FUNERAL PROCESSION
Following Nipsey Hussle’s "Celebration of Life," Nipsey’s funeral procession did a final victory lap of 25.5 miles throughout South Los Angeles, passing through all of the neighborhoods that Nipsey touched. According to VIBE, the procession began at the Staples Center and traveled through Watts and Inglewood, before passing Nipsey’s clothing store. The procession ended at the Angelus Funeral Home located on Crenshaw Blvd.
However, according to a tweet from LAPD Police Chief Michel Moore, one person was killed and three others were injured in a shooting that took place as the procession made its way through Los Angeles. Moore wrote, "In the midst of this procession we have a multi-4 Shooting at 103 St and Main St. Victims are 3 Male Blacks and 1 Female Black - ages from 30-50 years old. Tragically one is deceased. Suspects in gray Hyundai fired on the victims. We must stop this senseless violence."