Barack Obama praised Nipsey Hussle’s community service legacy in a letter read at the rapper’s memorial, after an emotional performance from Marsha Ambrosius and before a controversial eulogy from Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. The letter was read by Nipsey’s business partner Karen Civil and gave the former President’s condolences to the family, friends, and fans of the late Nipsey Hussle.
Although Obama says he wasn’t an avid fan, he was introduced to the sounds of the LA hometown hero through his daughters and later to Nipsey’s community work in the wake of his tragic death. A full transcript can be read below.
Dear Friends and Family of Nipsey,
I’d never met Nipsey Hussle, but I’d heard some of his music through my daughters, and after his passing, I had the chance to learn more about his transformation and his community work.
While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets, and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him to always keep going. His choice to invest in that community rather than ignore it — to build a skill training center and a coworking space in Crenshaw; to life up the Eritrean-American community; to set an example for young people to follow — is a legacy worthy of celebration. 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 the entire Asghedom family and to all those who loved Nipsey.
The service also included a montage of photos of Nipsey with his family and friends set to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” More performances are forthcoming from Jhene Aiko and Stevie Wonder. You can watch the livestream here.