"The marathon continues."
The "Celebration Of Life" Memorial Service for Nipsey Hussle happened on Thursday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Family and friends gathered for the ticketed event, which saw speeches celebrating the life and community impact of the 33-year-old rapper who was fatally shot on March 31st.
The service featured a performances from Jhené Aiko and others, as well as the reading of a letter from Former President Barack Obama. Inside the Staples Center, a program was handed out featuring written tributes to the Victory Lap GRAMMY-nominee, praising his artistry, spirit, and the way in which he gave back to the world around him. Included were letters from JAY-Z, Russell Westbrook, YG, The Game, and Kendrick Lamar.
"His charisma and way with words was powerful" wrote Lamar. "But his integrity as a person made me even more enthused."
You can read the full text of Lamar's letter below and get a look inside the service from our partners at Billboard.
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.
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.