*Nipsey Hussle’s memorial service on Thursday was a star-studded event, where actress Lauren London, Snoop Dogg and Stevie Wonder were among those who spoke during the 3-hour service.
The Obamas also sent a letter of condolence that was read to the crowd and JAY-Z shared encouraging words in the program received by the tens of thousands of mourning fans who were in attendance.
“He is the prophetic voice of all in that community,” Minister Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, said to the crowd at the 21,000-seat Staples Center. “He lived the gang life, but he didn’t stay there. He lived the life of the ’hood, but he rose above the pull of gravity. Ermias was more than a hip-hop artist: He was a voice; he was a brilliant mind, and the spirit of God was in his life.”
The event started at the Staples Center and ended with a 25.5-mile funeral procession through the streets of Nipsey’s hometown. The family tapped members of the Nation of Islam to handle their personal security and control the crowd along the route through South L.A., per Los Angeles Times.
Sadly, however, one person was reportedly shot dead and three were injured after a drive-by attack occurred in a Watts neighborhood where the memorial passed through. The victims were between the ages of 30 and 50 and the gunfire came from a gray car, according to police.
Born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, Hussle was fatally shot in broad daylight outside his Marathon clothing store off Slauson Avenue. The gunman, 29-year-old Eric Holder, has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and one count of firearm possession by a felon. He faces life in prison if convicted on all charges. Police believe a personal grudge and not gang ties led to his death.
During the memorial on Thursday, Nipsey’s father, Dawit Asghedom, spoke of how strong his son was and Snoop Dogg recalled his bond with the father of two.
“He had vision for me that I didn’t even have for myself,” the rapper said (see the clip above).
Lauren London’s son Kameron Carter (his father is Lil Wayne) took the stage and recalled a dream he had about his mother’s boyfriend of five years.
“On the night of April 2, I had a dream. I was in paradise, and I was playing in the ocean water when Ermias popped up right behind me. He said, ‘What up, Killa?’ I turned around and yelled his name and gave him a hug,” Kameron, 9, said. “I realized Ermias told me what heaven was like; he told me it was paradise.”
In her own eulogy, London said she had “never felt this type of pain before.”
Speaking of she and Nipsey’s 2-year-old son Kross, Lauren noted: “My pain is from a 2-year-old that probably won’t remember how much his dad loved him.”.
Publicist and Nipsey’s longtime friend Karen Civil read a letter from former President Obama.
“While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets, and despair, Nipsey saw potential,” Obama wrote. “He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him to always keep going. His choice to invest in that community rather than ignore it … is a legacy worthy of celebration.”
Perhaps most disappointing was rapper YG disrupting the beautiful service by bringing colorism to the stage while recalling a conversation that he had with Hustle about their daughters.
“We got some light-skinned pretty girls we got to raise. We in trouble my nigga, what we gonna do?” As noted by NewsOne, he clearly almost said “bitches” instead of “girls.”
Nipsey Hussle was buried in Forrest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hill on Thursday. Fans are reportedly permitted to send flowers to his grave.