Obama Pays Tribute to Nipsey Hussle at Memorial: He 'Is a Legacy Worthy to Follow'

Playing Nipsey Hussle: Thousands Gather to Honor Slain Rapper and Community Activist

Former President Barack Obama paid tribute to Nipsey Hussle in a letter read aloud at the rapper's memorial service at the Los Angeles Staples Center Thursday.

Karen Civil, Nipsey's longtime friend, read a letter in which Obama said he came to know Nipsey's music through his daughters.

"He set an example for young people to follow and is a legacy worthy to follow," Obama wrote.

With thousands gathered in the 21,000-seat arena, the memorial kicked off with the playing of Nipsey's song "Victory Lap" and quickly followed with a picture collage of Nipsey, born Ermias Asghedom, set to Frank Sinatra's "My Way."

Lauren London and the couple's child, 2-year-old Kross, appeared along with Nipsey's daughter, Emani, and Lauren's son, Cameron.

Cameron, 9, spoke about seeing Nipsey in a dream "in paradise" after his death. 

Nipsey's mom, Angelique Smith, brother Ermias, and sister, Samantha Smith, also told several stories about Nipsey's life and the kind of person he was. 

Stars Anthony Hamilton and Jhene Aiko performed at the memorial service as well. 

Complimentary tickets to the "celebration of life" were offered to California residents beginning Tuesday and more than 20,000 were claimed within minutes. 

Doors for the service opened at 8 a.m. PT. 

After the celebration of life, the rapper's casket is expected to travel a 25-mile route through many different parts of Los Angeles, including past Nipsey’s Marathon Clothing store where he was shot and killed, so that fans can pay their respects, TMZ reported. 

The procession is being called Nipsey’s “Victory Lap,” in effort to pay homage to all that Nipsey had done for his community. It's also the title's of Nipsey last album.

Nipsey was gunned down on March 31 outside of his store in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles.

His untimely murder was captured on surveillance footage and police have since charged 29-year-old Eric Holder, who was reportedly an acquaintance of the rapper.

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