If there's anything we learned from Nipsey Hussle's funeral, it's that he was beloved by many.
The Thursday memorial was one big outpouring of love and emotion for a man who did his best to show love to his community, family, friends and beloved partner.
The entire service was exceptional, but here are seven moments that stood out:
1. Karen Civil read a letter from former President Barack Obama.
Barack Obama was not present for the memorial, but he sent a letter over to be read by Nipsey's business partner Karen Civil. In the brief message, Obama described how he was introduced to the rapper’s music through his daughters and his admiration for Nip’s life.
“While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and only saw gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential,” Obama wrote. “He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him to keep going.”
2. This touching montage showed how little Ermias Joseph Asghedom became Nipsey Hussle.
3. Nipsey’s children addressed the crowd.
The rapper’s daughter, Emani, his 2-year-old son, Kross, and stepson, Kameron Carter, took the stage with Lauren London and their aunt, Samantha Smith, to address the crowd. Emani was too emotional to speak, but Kameron, Lauren’s son, pressed on. He described a dream he had a couple of days after Nip’s death in which the “Dedication” emcee described heaven as “paradise” to the little boy. He also led a call and response exercise with the crowd.
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4. Nipsey’s mom is a pillar of strength.
Emotional at times, Angelique Smith poured libations for her son and other deceased family members as Nipsey’s father looked on. She also told the crowd she was “at peace” and “strong.” Smith described how an 8-year-old Nipsey flagged down a passing fire truck after her car engine caught fire and how she was able to drive home despite the alarming incident. She used that event as a metaphor to teach the crowd a valuable lesson.
“Our engine is on fire now,” she said. “We’re burning, but we’re not destroyed."
5. Samiel Asgedom’s speech was raw and emotional.
Nip’s brother choked back tears as he spoke during the service. Samiel described how he would get whippings if his younger brother were crying when their mom walked in as well as the strength of Nip’s hustle. Sam also admitted his brother came through when he was in a compromising situation during a childhood fight.
“Bro held it down while I was knocked out,” he recalled.
Sam also demonstrated the strength of Nipsey’s impact by quoting his song “I Don’t Stress.”
“I know you made the set proud, n***a!” Sam said to a standing ovation. Sam concluded by describing what motivated his brother. “It was about bringing it back [to the community] and inspiring and building,” he said.
Sam added, “He put his heart and soul into Slauson and Crenshaw.”
6. Lauren London showed the world what true love means and declared the "marathon" must go on.
Lauren London, actress and longtime girlfriend of Nipsey Hussle, read from a text she wrote to Nipsey while he was sleeping: "I feel real joy in my heart when I’m around you. I feel safe around you." https://t.co/HHHK7S0YvS #NipseyHussleMemorial pic.twitter.com/FgdUcg1RdF— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) April 11, 2019
Nip’s longtime partner Lauren London was only onstage for a brief moment, but every second was powerful. She emotionally recited a text message she sent him in January.
She also described a morning routine consisting of him burning sage and playing music for his children. She admitted she was hurt, but she remains dedicated to his mission.
“I’ve never felt this type of pain, before but I know God is alive.” The ATL star also described how sad she is for her 2-year-old son.
“My pain is for my 2-year-old who probably won’t remember how much he loved him,” she admitted.
London also acknowledged the suffering of the entire city of Los Angeles.
“This pain is really ours. We know what Nip meant to us,” she said. “We lost an incredible soul. We lost a real one. We won’t ever be the same.”
London ended her speech with a vow to keep her love’s legacy alive.
“The marathon continues,” she emphatically said before walking off the stage.
7. Snoop Dogg put on for his set and his unconventional brotherhood with YG.
Snoop Dogg Tells a Nipsey Hussle Story At His Memorial pic.twitter.com/UPNquYexI2— 2cooI2Blog (@2Cool2Bl0g) April 11, 2019
Snoop Dogg is usually as cool as a cucumber, but it was clear Nip’s death broke his heart. He admitted it was hard to stay strong, but he kept going. He paid tribute to Lauren, Nipsey’s parents and other loved ones. Snoop also illustrated how Nip was able to earn respect from other men regardless of their neighborhood or gang affiliation. Snoop concluded with a hilarious but touching remix to a Bible verse.
“For God so loved the world, he gave us a good Crip,” Snoop said.
Rapper YG, a known Blood, was a living example of this gang unity when he called Nip his “brother from another color.”
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