Former President Barack Obama Remembers Nipsey Hussle During Memorial Service
Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images

Forever president Barack Obama’s presence was felt among the friends, family and fans celebrating the memory of slain rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle during his sold-out memorial service, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Thursday.

In a letter read by Hussle’s business partner, marketing maven Karen Civil, Obama remembered the Roc Nation-affiliated lyricist as an “an example for young people to follow” and honored his legacy alongside speakers, which included Nation Of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan and Pastor Shep Crawford.

“While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and only see gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential,” Obama wrote. “He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him to always keep going.”

Highlighting Hussle’s community work in Los Angeles’ Crenshaw neighborhood, Obama added that he hopes that his legacy “inspires more good work in Crenshaw and communities like it.”

Karen Civil reading the letter sent from former president Barack Obama during Nipsey Hussle’s memorial service on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (Credit: Tidal)

The former POTUS—who is an avid hip hop fan—noted that while he never had a chance to meet Hussle in person, he did learn of his music through his two daughters and learned more about his community activism work after his death.

Here’s the full text of Obama’s letter:

“I’ve never met Nipsey, but I’ve heard his music through my daughters. 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 only see 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 to ignore it — to build a skills training center, a coworking space in Crenshaw to lift up the Eritrean-American community — he set an example for young people to follow and is a legacy worthy of celebration. I hope his memory inspires more good work in Crenshaw and communities like it.”

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