“I’ve never met Nipsey, but I’ve heard his music through my daughters,” says former president Barack Obama

Rapper Nipsey Hustle, 33, and two others were gunned down outside his Marathon Clothing store in L.A. on Sunday, March 31.

lauren-children-549x452Superstar rapper Snoop Dogg, musician Stevie Wonder and former President Barack Obama were some of the several folks who paid tribute to rapper Nipsey Hustle, who was born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, today at the Staple Center in downtown Los Angeles and at a Celebration of Life service which was live-streamed by multiple news and entertainment outlets.

Fans who were lucky enough to score tickets to the memorial service received glossy books containing 100 pages of photos documenting Nipsey’s life which contained messages from Snoop Dogg, LeBron James, The Game and Russell Westbrook.

Nipsey’s friend and business partner Karen Civil read a touching letter from former President Barack Obama.

“I’ve never met Nipsey, but I’ve heard his music through my daughters, and after his passing, I had the chance to learn more about his transformation and his community work,” the letter read.

“While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood, where he grew up, and only see gangs, bullets and despair, he saw potential. He saw home. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him to always keep going. His choice to invest in that community – rather than to ignore it – to build a skilled training center, a co-working space in Crenshaw, to lift up the Eritrean-African community. He set an example for young people to follow and is a legacy worth celebrating. I hope his memory inspires more good work in Crenshaw and communities like it. Michelle and I send our sympathies to Lauren, Emani, Kross, and his whole family and to all of those who love Nipsey.”

Actress Lauren London who shares a young son with the rapper also took to the microphone to share her love of Nipsey Hussle.

“My pain is for my two year old who probably won’t remember how much his dad loved him,” she tearfully shared also reading out a text she wrote to the rapper, whom she called “Hussle.”

London included Los Angeles residents in her thoughts of Hussle who she called “majestic” because of how much he meant to the city.

Jhené Aiko, Marsha Ambrosius and Anthony Hamilton also performed at the service which kicked off with a DJ and a live band in a musical tribute.

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