Wednesday 21 August 2019

Nipsey Hussle’s family gathers for private funeral in Los Angeles

A private burial followed a public memorial a day earlier.

A hearse leaves a burial service for the late rapper Nipsey Hussle at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills cemetery (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
A hearse leaves a burial service for the late rapper Nipsey Hussle at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills cemetery (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

By Jonathan Landrum Jr and Andrew Dalton, Associated Press

Nipsey Hussle’s family and friends gathered for a private funeral on Friday on a day when the slain rapper was also honoured by his hometown of Los Angeles.

Hussle was buried at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills in an afternoon service.

The sprawling cemetery in northern Los Angeles is, as the name would suggest, the final resting place of much Hollywood royalty, including Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, Liberace and David Carradine.

The small ceremony stood in contrast to a giant celebration a day earlier of the 33-year-old Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom. About 20,000 people had flocked to the public memorial at the Staples Centre.

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Attendees of the burial service stage a tribute as they prepare to leave Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills cemetery (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Afterwards, thousands more lined the streets as the recently anointed hometown hero, his casket draped in the flag of his father’s native country, Eritrea in East Africa, embarked on a 25-mile tour of the city.

Earlier on Friday, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to rename the junction of Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue “Nipsey Hussle Square”.

Councillor Marqueece Harris-Dawson, a friend of Hussle, proposed the move.

“His work and impact will never be forgotten and I am grateful to do a small part to ensure the marathon continues,” he said in a statement, using what has become a popular phrase in remembrance of the rapper.

The South Los Angeles junction is home to Hussle’s clothing store, The Marathon. He was standing outside it when he was fatally shot on March 31.

Hussle had recently purchased the shopping centre where The Marathon is located and planned to redevelop it, part of his broader ambitions to remake his childhood neighbourhood and attempt to break the cycle of gang life that lured him in when he was younger.

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Hussle was shot and killed on March 31 outside his clothing store in Los Angeles (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Eric R Holder Jr, who has been charged with killing Hussle, has pleaded not guilty. Police have said Holder and Hussle had several interactions on the day of the shooting and have described it as being the result of a personal dispute.

For a decade, Hussle released much sought-after mixtapes that he sold out of the boot of his car, helping him create a buzz and gain respect from rap purists and his peers.

Last year, Hussle hit new heights with Victory Lap, his critically acclaimed major-label debut album on Atlantic Records that earned him a Grammy nomination.

On Thursday, in the first celebrity memorial at Staples Centre since Michael Jackson’s nearly a decade ago, some of people who knew Hussle best, including his actress fiancee Lauren London, friend Snoop Dogg and his mother, shared personal stories about the rapper during a three-hour service.

When it was over, Ms London revealed a fresh tattoo of Hussle on her forearm, writing in an Instagram post that “Real Love Never Dies” and that from now on “When you see me, you will always see him”.

PA Media

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