On Thursday, April 11, thousands of mourners gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to attend the memorial service for slain rapper, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Ermias Joseph Asghedom known as Nipsey Hussle
Lauren London, the late rapper’s girlfriend, delivered a heartfelt eulogy to him remembering watching him sleep just the morning before he was killed. The message read; “You made me into a woman and you have given me an opportunity to love a man,” she read in part, adding, “I learn so much about myself with you. You have been my turn up and my church.”
Former U.S. President, Barack Obama, also wrote a heartfelt letter, read by Karen Civil, the late rapper’s business partner, at the memorial service. The letter addressed to Hussle’s family and friends read; “Nipsey saw potential, he saw hope, he saw a community that taught him to always keep going. I’d never met Nipsey Hussle, but I’d heard some of his music through my daughters, and after his passing,” the letter begins.
“I had the chance to learn more about his transformation and community work. While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighbourhood where he grew up and see only 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…is a legacy worthy of celebration. I hope his memory inspires more good work in Crenshaw and communities like it,” Barrack Obama concluded.
Back in 2013, Jay-Z had shown support for Nipsey Hussle by buying 100 copies of the California rapper’s Crenshaw mixtape, which was priced at $100 each. It was revealed that Hov penned a thoughtful letter dedicated to the rapper, which appeared in pamphlets that were distributed at Nipsey’s memorial service.
The letter reads:
“…. there is something in every one of us that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in ourselves and that IT is the only true guide that we would ever have. And that if we cannot hear it, we will all of our lives spend our days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls!”
“Top of the top – is how Nip always greeted me in the morning as if he was reminding me that he was steadfastly holding on to the top of the top of his own life string and destiny!… Sleep well King, The Marathon continues as a line of energy for all of us to consider. LOVE AND LIGHT, JAY.’ JayZ’s letter read.
Rapper, Kendrick Lamar offered his own tribute to Nipsey, which appeared in the program for the memorial. In screenshots obtained by TMZ, Kendrick’s statement on Hussle, a fellow California rapper who had earned the respect of many read;
“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 a 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.”
“A true King will be tested in adversity. To stand in fearlessness in what he believes will impact on earth, as well as in heaven. So thank you Nipsey The Radical. Nipsey The Husband. Nipsey The Friend. Nipsey The Great. And from now on, Nipsey The Messenger…… Shalom.”
Snoop Dogg, who was present at the memorial service eulogized the rapper, recalling a hilarious story of the first time he’d listened to Nipsey’s music. He first remembers how impressed he was with the way Nipsey didn’t try too hard to convince him of his greatness when they first met. A bit later in the recollection, Snoop mentioned the moment he actually first listened to Nipsey’s music.
“I’m rolling up a blunt in the backseat of the car on the CD. I start opening the CD up—the homie know. He know the story already, so I’m just telling y’all,” Snoop said to laughter from the audience. “So I took the CD out, and I popped the CD in [and] I was like, ‘Damn, cuz is hard.'”
In the speech, Snoop describes Nipsey as being his “brother,” a “great man, leader, father, teacher and friend.” The West Coast legend had nothing but kind words to share about his young OG.
Snoop also acknowledged the rapper and his actress girlfriend, who also is the mother of one of his children, Lauren London, for being shining examples of Black love. “Every time I would see Nip and Lauren out they reminded me of me and my wife,” Snoop said as he stood in front of the packed Staples Center area. “It was like Black excellence.”
Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed on March 31st in front of his clothing store in Los Angeles, California.