‘Nipsey Saw Hope’: Letter From Barack Obama Read at Slain Rapper’s Memorial

A letter from former President Barack Obama was read at a memorial for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle Thursday afternoon. “I’d never met Nipsey Hussle, but I’d heard his music through my daughters, and after his passing, I had the chance to learn more about his transformation and community work,” his business partner, Karen Civil, read through tears. “While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets, and despair, Nipsey saw potential. Nipsey 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.” Hussle was killed on Mar. 31 following a personal dispute outside a clothing store he owned, police say; a suspect has been charged with his murder. Thousands of people flocked to the Staples Center for his Thursday memorial, which includes a 25-mile procession through Los Angeles.