Called “A Celebration of Life” by organizers, the massive gathering for the slain musician and community advocate is set for 10 a.m. local time. Tickets were made available free of charge to California residents earlier this week. They were gone in 30 minutes.
The Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, accommodates about 21,000 people, and security will be tight: Attendees will be subjected to metal detectors and visual inspections, and no backpacks or large bags will be permitted in the venue. Cameras and recording devices are also prohibited, per the family’s wishes.
The venue was last used for a memorial service for Michael Jackson in July 2009.
Cable network BET announced it will broadcast the event and stream it.
Streaming music service Tidal is also making the memorial available to both members and nonmembers.
Organizers have announced a procession following the service that will run 20 to 25 miles through the streets of Los Angeles and encompass places that were important to the rapper.
The Eritrean-American rhymesmith was beloved not only for his Grammy-nominated music — he dropped a dozen or more mixtapes before releasing his studio debut, “Victory Lap,” to much acclaim last year — but also for his activism and entrepreneurship dedicated to uplifting his community.
Those who knew him say he cherished the Crenshaw District where he grew up. He owned businesses there, invested in the community, paid for funerals and kids’ shoes and counted several Los Angeles rappers among his influences and collaborators.
Though he was a member of the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips, he reached out to police leaders before he died to discuss ways to curb gang violence and help youngsters. He also made music with Bloods-affiliated rappers such as The Game and YG, who counted him as a friend.
Nipsey was gunned down March 31 in Los Angeles near the clothing store he owned at Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard. Eric Holder, a man Nipsey knew, repeatedly approached the rapper that Sunday afternoon before returning with a handgun that he “purposely and repeatedly fired” at the rapper, killing him and injuring two others, Los Angeles police Chief Michel Moore said.
Holder has pleaded not guilty to one charge of murder and two counts of attempted murder. The 29-year-old was also charged at his arraignment with possession of a firearm by a felon.
Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson announced Tuesday that the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and West Slauson Avenue, which hosts The Marathon Clothing store, where Nipsey was shot, will be named Ermias “Nipsey Hussle” Asghedom Square in honor of the artist.
US Rep. Karen Bass also honored the rapper, making Nipsey’s contributions to the community part of the Congressional Record this week.
The rapper’s family has been left to mourn him, including his girlfriend of more than five years, Lauren London, with whom he shared a son. Hussle also had a daughter from a prior relationship.
“I’m going to keep my head high and always represent for my king to the fullest,” London told the Los Angeles Times. “He loved his kids. He was a family man. His family came first.”