Former US President Barack Obama , legendary singer , Stevie Wonder and rapper , Snoop Dogg eulogised slain rapper , Nipsey Hussle in a very emotional memorial in Los Angeles on Thursday .
Obama wrote a letter to the family , which was read by Karen Civil , Hussle ’ s friend and business partner, where he praised Hussle’ s attempts to revitalise the gang – plagued neighbourhood where he was raised, and where he was gunned down in March .
“ 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, ” Obama ’ s letter said , referencing his efforts to build a skills – training centre and a co – working space .
The memorial was held at the 21, 000 – capacity Staples Center, a sports and pop concert venue , which was packed with fans wearing white and blue for the three – hour memorial .
The ceremony was followed by a 25 – mile (40- km) procession through the streets of south Los Angeles .
Fellow California rapper , Snoop Dogg , recalled Hussle’ s former connections with the notorious Crips gang that the musician later parlayed into efforts to combat gang violence.
“ For God so loved the world , that he gave us a good Crip, the late great neighbourhood Nip . Rest in peace , ” Snoop Dogg said .
He called the Grammy-nominated singer “a peace advocate ” because of his work with all members of the community.
Wonder played his 1980 hit
Rocket Love and a version of Eric Clapton’ s Tears in Heaven to pay respects to Hussle.
Also , Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said Hussle has become “ to hip hop and rap what Bob Marley was to reggae . ”
“ He lived the gang life but he didn’ t stay there. He lived the life of the ‘ hood but he rose above the pull of gravity, ” Farrakhan said in a speech .
Hussle’ s two – year – old son , dressed in a blue suit , was brought on stage in the arms of the musician ’ s girlfriend , model Lauren London.
Hussle, 33, was shot on March 31 outside a clothing store he owned in south Los Angeles .
Shortly after , a stampede erupted at a local vigil for Hussle after reports of a gunman in the crowd .
A 29- year – old man on April 9 pleaded not guilty to murder charges .
Police said Hussle’ s shooting was motivated by a personal dispute , although it took place in a surge of gang – related violence in south Los Angeles in March .
Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom , was Grammy- nominated earlier this year for his debut studio album Victory Lap .