Obama, Snoop Dogg and Others Pay Tribute To Nipsey Hussle
14 April 2019 Entertainment
During Nipsey’s Hussle’s Los Angeles funeral service, Snoop Dogg remembered the first time Nipsey “pushed up on me with a tape,” trying to get the world-famous Long Beach rapper to listen to his music. Nipsey told him, “Just give it a listen,” which struck Snoop as odd.
Most rappers trying to catch Snoop’s ear talk about making money, but Nipsey didn’t want a handout.
He was ready to earn everything he got, Snoop said. Nipsey was more a movement than a musicianSnoop didn’t listen to Nipsey’s tape that first time, but the second time he got one of Nip’s CDs, he used it to roll a blunt in the back of a car. He put in the CD, he said, and his first impression was, “Damn, cuz hard.”
Snoop said the two shared a kinship. They repped Los Angeles. They’re both tall, lanky, wear braids and claim their street gang affiliation, but what Snoop said he will remember most is Nipsey’s “kind spirit” and how he served as a “peace advocate,” making music with rival gang members and showing love to everyone no matter the colors they flew.
“This man got a letter from Barack Obama, man,” Snoop said before turning to the sprawling wall of flowers forming the backdrop to Nipsey’s coffin and saluting.
Karen Civil, Nipsey’s longtime friend and marketing strategist, read the letter from Obama, whose daughters introduced him to Nipsey’s music. The president thanked the rapper — who was slain last month — for lifting up his South Central Los Angeles community.
“He set an example for young people to follow and is a legacy worthy to follow,” Civil said, reading Obama’s words.After thousands filled the Staples Center to honor Nipsey, a funeral procession set off, carrying his body on a 25.5-mile circuit through the streets of Los Angeles.
Hundreds of people lined up on the streets as the hearse with the rapper’s remains made its way by Nipsey’s childhood home and other places that were important to him.
Onlookers took pictures of the hearse with their phones as it drove through their neighborhoods. Some rode their bikes while others ran alongside the funeral procession for a final farewell.
Calling Nipsey a “prophetic soul,” Nation of Islam Minister Farrakhan said the artist, born Ermias Asghedom, meant to hip-hop what Bob Marley meant to reggae.
Farrakhan applauded him for his efforts to forge ties between the Crips street gang, to which Nipsey belonged, and the rival Bloods.”He lived the gang life, but he didn’t stay there,” Farrakhan said.
“Sometimes when you can fly above the circumstances of your life, it produce envy and enmity and jealousy among those who have not learned how to fly, but Ermias was more than a hip-hop artist. He was a voice and brilliant mind, and the spirit of God was in his life.”
Thousands of fans attended the service, which featured performances from Anthony Hamilton and Jhene Aiko.Tickets for Thursday’s “Celebration of Life” were made available free of charge to California residents earlier this week. They were gone in 30 minutes.
The Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, accommodates about 21,000 people.The funeral was packed with musical performances, beginning with Los Angeles’ DJ Battlecat spinning tracks from Nipsey’s latest album “Victory Lap,” with a live band performing backup, before Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played over the speakers.
Fans chanted the rapper’s name, held aloft their cell phones like lighters and waved Eritrean flags, honoring his ancestry.
Stevie Wonder also took the stage. He recalled meeting the rapper and said he hopes his death spurs the nation to take gun violence more seriously.