Yesterday, Thursday, April 11, a memorial service was held for the late Nipsey Hussle. The rapper was the target of a fatal shooting in Los Angeles and passed away aged 33 earlier this month. He is survived by his long-term partner Lauren London, their two-year-old son, Kross, and his seven-year-old daughter, Emani.
Ever since news of Hussle’s tragic death began to circulate, friends, family, peers, and fans around the world have reached out to share their condolences, with everyone from A$AP Rocky to Drake and Rihanna expressing their devastation.
The rapper’s memorial service took place at Los Angeles’ Staples Canter, kicking off at 10am. According to ET, who live-streamed the entire service, more than 20,000 people were expected to pay tribute, including Beyoncé and JAY-Z, who were in the crowd.
Here’s what happened during Nipsey Hussle’s memorial service.
Firstly, the rapper was remembered with a photo montage set to Frank Sinatra’a “My Way.” Watch above.
Snoop Dogg sent his love to Hussle’s family.
Snoop Dogg praised the “late, great neighborhood Nip” as he ended his moving speech, which included a touching tribute to Hussle’s family. “I want to send love to Lauren for being a real queen to our beloved King,” he said. “If you need a hug, we’re here for you. We love you, baby girl. We always have and always will.”
Stevie Wonder performed
Stevie Wonder performed two songs: “Rocket Love” and Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven,” which were particularly moving considering Hussle rapped about Wonder performing at his funeral on his track, “Ocean Views.”
“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 // Crack a pint of Act then pour in some Sprite bro.”
Wonder then spoke about the importance of amending gun control laws in America. “It is so painful to know that we don’t have enough people taking a position that say, ‘Listen, we must have stronger gun laws.’ It’s unacceptable,” he said.
“I pray that the leaders who have a responsibility to perpetuate life will do it by making sure that the laws will make it so very hard for people to have guns and to take their frustrations out to kill life.”
“I hope that it motivates us enough to say, ‘Enough of people being killed by guns and violence,'” he added. “I hope that we don’t just talk about it but we be about it — make a difference for our future.”
Hussle’s family talked of his ambition, motivation, and legacy.
“Nip is immortalized, and now he is greater than ever,” his sister Samantha Smith said, “I am so proud of my bro.” Meanwhile Hussle’s father Dawit Asghedom praised his son for accomplishing so much during his brief time on this planet. “At 33 years old he accomplished more than what [anyone can] accomplish,” said Dawit Asghedom, Hussle’s father. “Maybe he accomplished his mission.”
“Never was I prepared for anything like this,” Hussle’s long-time partner Lauren London told the audience. “I’ve never felt this type of pain before. His soul was majestic. He was the strongest man that I ever knew.”
“My pain is for my 2-year-old, who probably won’t remember how much his dad loved him. I’m so honored and blessed that I got to experience such a man.”
Hussle’s mother and brother also gave very touching tributes, both speaking of the rapper’s love and faith.
Barack Obama sent a letter
During the service it was revealed that former president Barack Obama had sent a letter of condolence addressed to the friends and family of Nipsey Hussle. It was read out by Karen Civil and spoke of the amazing impact Hussle had on his community.
“I’ve never met Nipsey but I’ve heard his music through my daughters,” Obama wrote. “While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood [and see violence and gangs] … Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope.”
“His choice to invest in that community rather than to ignore it … set an example for young people to follow. I hope his memory inspires more good work in Crenshaw.”
Anthony Hamilton and Marsha Ambrosius also performed
Amrbosius performed a rendition of Mariah Carey’s “Fly Like a Bird,” while Hamilton performed “Do You Feel Me.”
Head over to ET for more information about Hussle’s memorial service.