Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, and Barack Obama paid tribute to Nipsey Hussle at his memorial service

A 25.5 mile funeral procession through LA followed the service

Nipsey Hussle’s family honoured the late rapper with a public memorial service in Los Angeles today (April 11), which included performances from Stevie Wonder, Jhene Aiko and Marsha Ambrosius.

Fans were able to watch “Nipsey Hussle’s Celebration of Life”, which was broadcast from the city’s Staples Center live on TIDAL and also via CBS News.

News that Wonder would perform, as well as artists Aiko, Ambrosius, and Anthony Hamilton, came after a journalist shared an image of the order of service.

Stevie Wonder paid tribute to Hussle, saying: ““I’m very happy that in his short life he was able to motivate people, and I hope that it motivates you enough to say, ‘Listen, enough of people being killed by guns and violence’.”

Wonder then performed a touching live tribute, which fulfilled the late rapper’s wish outlined in the lyrics of his ‘Ocean Views’ track : “Then when I die, blue rag around my rifle / Hunnid thousand in my coffin, that’s just light dough / Play a Stevie Wonder song, smoke some flight bro.”

Other performances came from Jhene Aiko, Anthony Hamilton, and Marsha Ambrosius.

Former President of the United States, Barack Obama paid tribute to Hussle in the form of a letter, which was read out at the service by the late rapper’s friend and business colleague, Karen Civil.

“I’d never met Nipsey Hussle,” the letter began. “But I heard 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 neighbourhood where he grew up and only see gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential. 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 – to build a skills training centre, 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 good work in Crenshaw and communities like it.”

Obama signed the letter: “Michelle and I send our sympathies to Lauren, Emani, Kross and the entire Asghedom family and to all those who love Nipsey. Sincerely, Barack Obama.”

While not present at today’s memorial service, it’s reported that Jay-Z attended a private wake for Hussle at Angelus Funeral Home in downtown Los Angeles yesterday (April 10).

Writing a message inside Nipsey Hussle’s funeral program, one that included a quote from late Professor, Dr. Howard Thurman, Jay wrote: “The world just got to see a flash of your brilliance. You were a curious soul who was evolving at a speed that was truly inspiring.”

He finished his tribute by telling Hussle to “sleep well King. The Marathon continues as a line of energy for all of us to consider. LOVE AND LIGHT, JAY.”

Another written tribute came from Kendrick Lamar, who featured on ‘Dedication’, a song taken from Hussle’s Grammy-nominated ‘Victory Lap’ album. He reminisced about meeting Hussle and touring with him in the early days. Read the full tribute below:

“In 2009, I remember trekking cities alongside Nipsey and family. Both performing as opening acts on The Game LAX tour. Our sprinter van trailed their mobile home from state to state.

“Though I was there as support for my brother Jay Rock, Nipsey greeted me as one of his own. And that was very commendable. Casually, I would go out to the crowd and listen to the substance he spewed on stage. Thinking to myself, this is the type of talent I want to be a part of. His charisma and way with words was powerful. But his integrity as a person made me even more enthused.

“I watched a young, ambitious black male orchestrate fellowship amongst the men around him on that tour. Determined to execute one thing—and that was Greatness. Greatness in knowledge, greatness in wealth, and greatness in self. My curiosity about who he really was started to grow from that moment in time. Was he a product of Crenshaw and Slauson? Was he a radical? Or was he a thinker? That mystique kept me engaged throughout his life and career. The years progressed, and my admiration grew from up close and from afar. Watching his interviews, his philosophies, and his work amongst the black community.

“I watched a young, ambitious black male orchestrate fellowship amongst the men around him on that tour.” – Kendrick Lamar

“Time surely revealed itself. I realized Nipsey was all of those perspectives. But most importantly, he was a vessel from God. As my heart aches for him and his family, I understand that the Most High doesn’t make mistakes. I pray that Ermias Foundation continues to blossom. I pray for those who trespass against it.

“A true King will be tested in adversity. To stand in fearlessness in what he believes will impact on the earth, as well as in heaven. So thank you Nipsey the Radical. Nipsey the Thinker. Nipsey the Father. Nipsey the Brother. Nipsey the Husband. Nipsey the Friend. Nipsey the Great. And from now on, Nipsey the Messenger……Shalom.”

Hussle’s girlfriend, Lauren London, read out a text she sent to Hussle while he was asleep. “I feel real joy in my heart when I’m around you,” she began. “I feel safe around you. Protected, like a shield over me when you’re around. I’m totally myself when I’m around you.”

She also sent out a special message to Los Angeles:

Other tributes at the service came from Snoop Dogg, Minister Louis Farrakhan, NBA athletes Russell Westbrook and James Harden, YG, Hussle’s brother, his mother, and also Cameron Carter, who is Lauren London’s son from her previous relationship with Lil Wayne.

Free tickets for the ceremony sold out within minutes of being made available on Wednesday (April 10), with some people attempting to sell them for more than $500.

CBS News reports that following the ceremony, a 25.5 mile funeral procession will travel from Staples Center through the South Central Los Angeles neighbourhoods of Inglewood and Watts before ending at Angelus Funeral Home in the Crenshaw district. Hussle will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn cemetery.

A huge line of people attending the memorial formed outside Staples ahead of the ceremony.

Lauren London also revealed that she got a Nipsey Hussle tribute tattoo. Taking to her Instagram, she posted a photo of the inked portrait of her late partner with the caption: “Real Love Never Dies.”

“Real Love Never Dies” – Lauren London.

The Game also had a tattoo done to commemorate the life of Hussle, as did Rick Ross.

 

Hussle was shot dead outside his Marathon Clothing Company store in the Hyde Park neighbourhood of LA on March 31. The Grammy nominated rapper was 33.

Crips

Nipsey Hussle

A suspect, Eric Holder, has been charged with the rapper’s murder.

The 29-year-old is facing life in prison after prosecutors charged him with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder. He has denied all charges [via New York Times].

Meanwhile, it was reported earlier this month that Hussle will have an intersection in Los Angeles named after him.

The intersection of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, close to where the star was shot, will now be named Ermias ‘Nipsey Hussle’ Asghedom Square, which is in reference to his birth name.

Los Angeles City Council’s Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who confirmed the decision, hailed Nipsey as a “West Coast hero”.