Former President Barack Obama joined the multiplicity of dignitaries, A-list athletes and big-name entertainers that honored the late, legendary Nipsey Hussle at his memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Thursday morning.
The beloved 44th president informed the audience inside the athletic cathedral that he was a listener to Nipsey’s music and became an admirer of him due to his celebrated, multifaceted career.
Obama sent the letter to Nipsey’s family, which was read to the 20,000-plus mourners at the memorial service.
In the letter, Obama said he’d only become familiar with Nipsey’s music through his daughters, Malia and Sasha. He also expressed admiration for Nipsey as a community change agent for acts of selflessness he performed within the Hyde Park community in South Los Angeles.
“Dear Friends and Family of Nipsey:
“I’ve never met Nipsey Hussle, but I’d hear 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 skills training center and a co-working space in Crenshaw; to lift up the Eritrean-American community; to set an example for young people to follow–is a legacy worthy of celebration. I hope this 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.