A brother. A friend. A protector. A father. A leader. A hometown hero. A motivator. A king.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 07: Nipsey Hussle performs onstage at the Warner Music Pre-Grammy Party at the NoMad Hotel on February 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Warner Music)

 

Those are all words that have been used to describe the late Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom to Angelique Smith and Dawit Asghedom.

Thousands descended upon The Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 11, 2019 to honor the slain rapper who touched lives worldwide with his music, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.

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While holding back tears, Marsha Ambrosius sang Mariah Carey’s “Fly Like a Bird,” which concluded Carey’s 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi.

Former President Barack Obama sent a letter that was read at Nipsey Hussle’s funeral by Hip-hop blogger and entrepreneur Karen Civil, who was also a close friend of Nipsey Hussle. Obama stated that he didn’t know Nipsey Hussle, but learned of the rapper through his daughters Sasha and Malia.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke to the fact that Nipsey Hussle loved where he was from, specifically the “Rolling 60s.”, “Ermias in the Eritrean culture means God is rising.” And Nipsey means homie

 

“Ermias was energetic. Ermias was full of hope. Ermias was full of life. Ermias was full of dreams,” said Father Thomas Uwal.”He was proud of his roots. He was proud to be Eritrean American.”

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Following Father Thomas Uwal’s sermon, Nipsey Hussle’s children, Emani, Kross, and Lauren London’s son, Kameron paid tribute alongside Lauren London, Hussle’s sister [blank]Smith

Kameron and Kross wore blue suits. Emani wore a white dress with a blue blazer and purse.

“On the night of April 2nd. I had a dream. I was in a paradise. and I was playing in the ocean water. and Ermias was right behind me. Ermias turned around and said, what up killa, cause that’s my nick name. – Kameron

Ermias told me what heaven was like. He told me it was paradise.

in the mornig, Ermias would say respect at the window. so on a count of three, I want everyone to yell respect.

His daughter, Emani struggled to say words in front of the large crowd. She turned towards London, who tried to encourage her to say a few words.

Kross said baby gibberish into the microphone

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Wearing all navy, Jhene Aiko sang “Eternal Sunshine” from her 2014 album Souled Out. “Rest in peace Nipsey. We love you,” Aiko said before leaving the stage.

Following Aiko’s performance, a special video presentation was shown highlighting Hussle’s childhood and his first trip to his father’s home country of Eritrea.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 16: Nipsey Hussle (L) and his mother attend the PUMA x Nipsey Hussle 2019 Grammy Nomination Party at The Peppermint Club on January 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for PUMA)

Hussle’s mother, Angelique Smith

“I couldn’t write anything because every time I would start writing I would write three sentences and then I would get brain freeze,” Angelique said, wearing all white.

She asked the audience to bare with her as she tries something new, and then called Hussle’s father to the stage to stand alongside her.

“We don’t need to look to the sky for God. God is within. I have perfect peace. I am happy. I am complete. I am strong. And if I can feel this way, so can you,” Angelique said before calling upon her ancestors prior to starting her tribute.

She poured out libations to her ancestors and asked Nipsey Hussle’s ancestors to also welcome him on the other side of life.

” I wanna tell you that everything is in perfect and divine order. I want to encourage you to choose a vegan lifestyle. And to limit your use of alcoholic beverages and narcotics. I wanna tell you that we can from royalty and regality. I want to tell you that we are very loving, and kind, and a spiritual race of people.”

Hussle’s mother recounted a time when her car was on fire and a young Nipsey Hussle flagged down a fire truck that was in route to put out his mother’s car’s flames.

“We are burning, but we are not destroyed.”

“Ermias was a legacy,” Angelique said before explaining that she and her mother knew that death was coming to their family.

“I’m very proud of my son. My son Ermias Joseph Asghedom was a great man.”

Samuel Asghedom, Hussle’s brother spoke after his mother.

“I swear to God everything he said in the music was who he was.” – Samuel

“If I die today I know the set proud n****,” Samuel said before explaining that that’s how Hussle thought. He then went on to explain that Hussle loved everybody and where he was from.

“You made the world proud. Look at this sh*t bro.”- Samuel

Nipsey Hussle’s longtime girlfriend, Lauren London came to the stage after Hussle’s brother Samuel.

“Never was I prepared for anything like this, so bare with me y’all,” London said once on stage.

“My pain is for my two-year-old that probably won’t remember how much his dad loved him.”

“Ermias always used to say that you can possess people that you experience them. I’m so honored and blessed that I got to experience such a man.”

She asked everyone in the audience from LA to stand up.

“We lost an incredible soul. And we lost a real one.

“The game is gonna

To Ermias the love of my life. you know hwat it is. grief is the final act of love. my heart hears you. I feel you.

I love you

and until we meet again teh marathon continues

 

Samantha Smith- Hussle’s sister

“To my brother. My protector. My guy.  he thought he was my daddy and it’s okay. i jsut first want to say thank you for loving me unconditionally. for never judging me for having my back always. anywaytime no matter what you were doing. i could call you in a panic.

you told me what i needed to hear. thank you for loving my son and taking us in and holding us down. thank you for your support

“You were and you are my superhero. You will forever be my superhero.”- Samantha Smith

 

 

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter