The Latest: Obama letter read at Nipsey Hussle memorial
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the memorial for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle, which is being held at Los Angeles’ Staples Center and will be followed by a 25-mile procession through the streets of South Los Angeles (all times local):
A letter from former president Barack Obama extolling the virtues of Nipsey Hussle has been read at the slain rapper’s funeral.
The letter from Obama said he had never met the rapper, but had “heard his music through my daughters” and he later learned about Hussle’s transformation and efforts to transform his South Los Angeles community.
He praised Hussle’s vision, saying the rapper and community activist saw potential and hope in the Crenshaw neighborhood he grew up in and that lured him into a gang as a young man. Obama’s letter states that Hussle “saw a community that even through its flaws taught him to always keep going.”
The letter states Hussle’s legacy is worth celebrating and Obama says he hopes Hussle’s efforts inspire “more good work in Crenshaw and communities like it.”
The memorial service for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle has started with a reading from scripture and a slideshow of photos set to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
Pastor Reid Rich linked the rapper to the biblical figure Joseph before the photo montage started.
The service has drawn thousands to the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles and is being livestreamed by BET and others. The ceremony will feature performances by Stevie Wonder, Jhene Aiko and singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton.
It will be followed by a 25-mile procession of Hussle’s casket throughout the city, including the South Los Angeles neighborhood where Hussle grew up and was trying to improve, with his clothing store The Marathon an anchor of his redevelopment efforts.
The start of the memorial service for rapper Nipsey Hussle has been delayed.
Large crowds of people are still waiting to get into the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, where the service will be held. The ceremony, featuring performances by Stevie Wonder and others, will be livestreamed by BET .
At 10 a.m., the service’s scheduled start time, the 21,000 seat arena was about half full.
A crowd of fans and mourners congregated outside the venue Thursday morning, with many wearing clothes that had images of Hussle on them.
Hussle was shot and killed March 31 outside his The Marathon clothing store in South Los Angeles.
Mourners at Nipsey Hussle’s Celebration of Life ceremony are being given a nearly 100-page book that includes remembrances from Rick Ross, The Game, Issa Rae and Lebron James.
The book also contains numerous pictures of Hussle with his fiancée Lauren London, his children, Russell Westbrook and Snoop Dogg.
The memorial service is being held Thursday morning at the 21,000 seat Staples Center under heavy security.
The service will feature performances by Stevie Wonder, Jhene Aiko and singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton.
Rae’s message says she has never cried herself to sleep over the death of a public figure, but she did after Hussle was killed on March 31.
Following the two-hour service, which is being Livestreamed on BET’s Facebook page, there will be a 25-mile procession of Hussle’s casket through the streets of South Los Angeles.
Rapper Nipsey Hussle will be mourned at a public memorial expected to draw thousands to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Nipsey Hussle Celebration of Life ceremony will be held at the 21,000-seat downtown arena at 10 a.m. Thursday. No details were given about who may be appearing, performing or speaking.
It will be livestreamed on BET News’ Facebook page .
Hussle was shot to death March 31 while standing outside his South Los Angeles clothing store, not far from where he grew up.
A 25-mile procession of Hussle’s casket through the streets of Los Angeles will follow the service.
The 33-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper was a father of two and was engaged to actress Lauren London.
Eric R. Holder Jr., who is charged with killing Hussle, has pleaded not guilty.