Obama And Farrakhan Show Love For Nipsey Hussle

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Written by Ann Brown

The tragic and untimely death of hip-hop artist/activist Nipsey Hussle on April 7, 2019, has shown that a wide array of people respected the 33-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper, his art, and his community work. In the wake of his shooting death, LA gang members united, and praise has come in from everyone from former President Barack Obama to Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan.

Recently members of the Nation of Islam paid tribute to Hussle by erecting an “awe-inspiring” salute, Rolling Out report.

Prominent community leader Minister Tony Muhammad helped to organize the tribute, and spoke about when he first met Hussle in 2005 when Muhammad faced police brutality while attempting to organize the community.

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“In 2005, one of the Rollin 60’s Crips was murdered by a rival gang member,” Muhammad recalled. “The victim’s family asked if I would come out and do a prayer vigil to help keep the peace. The police came out to intimidate the brothers, and I stepped up to confront the police officers and let them know what we were doing. Some of the police reacted and a fight broke out between the Nation [of Islam] and the police. They handcuffed me, threw me to the ground and start kicking me in my face. Nipsey was a teenager then, and he and a few others were yelling at the police to leave me alone.”

Muhammad and the Nation of Islam were known to support Hussle’s Marathon Clothing store, and Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan visited the store and spoke at Nipsey’s homegoing service at the Staples Center on April 11.

Obama also praised Hussle in a letter addressed to the late rapper’s friends and family that was presented at the homegoing.

“He set an example for young people to follow and is a legacy worthy of celebration,” Obama wrote.

Fans of rapper Nipsey Hussle wait in line to attend a public memorial at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Thursday, April 11, 2019. Hussle was killed in a shooting outside his Marathon Clothing store in south Los Angeles on March 31. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

“While most folks look at Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets, and despair, Nipsey saw potential,” Obama wrote. “He saw hope.”

Hussle’s friend, Karen Civil, read Obama’s letter during the public memorial service at the Staples Center. “More than 20,000 people filled the stadium to honor Hussle who was beloved for using his celebrity and resources to invest in his South Los Angeles hometown and advance social justice causes,” Buzzfeed reported.

“He saw a community that even through its flaws taught him to always keep going,” Obama wrote.

“His choice to invest in that community rather than to ignore it, to build a skills training center, a co-working 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,” the letter said.


About Ann Brown

Ann Brown has been a freelance writer for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in CocoaFab, Black Enterprise, Essence, MadameNoire.com, New York Trend, Upscale, Moguldom, AFKInsider, The Network Journal, Playboy, Africa Strictly Business, For Harriet, Pathfinders, Black Meetings & Tourism, Frequent Flier, Girl, Honey, Source Sports, The Source, Black Radio Exclusive, and Launch. She studied journalism at New York University and has her B.A. Born in New York, Ann lived in Praia, Cabo Verde, for nearly a decade. She created “An American In Cabo Verde,” a Facebook community.