Nipsey Hussle Staples Center funeral, South L.A. procession to draw thousands
Thousands are expected to pack Staples Center this morning for a “celebration of life” for Nipsey Hussle, the South Los Angeles rapper and businessman who was killed in a shooting outside his clothing store last month.
The two-hour ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Doors will open at 8 a.m.
Live footage of the event will not be played outside the stadium, but Staples Center officials said live footage will be available online.
Following the ceremony, a procession will travel with Hussle’s casket roughly 25 miles through South Los Angeles, including a pass of The Marathon Clothing store where he was killed.
The procession will also travel through Ladera Heights before ending at a Crenshaw area funeral home.
The 33-year-old Hussle was fatally shot March 31 as he stood with two other men in front of his store, at the strip mall he owned at 3420 West Slauson Ave. in the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles.
On Thursday, 29-year-old Eric Ronald Holder Jr. pleaded not guilty to Hussle’s murder, as well as charges that he attempted to kill two others who were standing next to the rapper during the shooting.
Holder faces life in prison if convicted as charged.
Hussle, who was nominated for a Grammy in February for his first album, was born Ermias Joseph Asghedom. He grew up in the Crenshaw district, and made a name for himself selling mixtapes of his music out of his truck.
The parking lot where he sold those mixtapes was at the same strip mall where he would later open his clothing store. He later bought the entire strip mall outright and redeveloped it with restaurants and a barber shop.
Even after he experienced success, he still lived in Crenshaw and was known to hang out at the same strip mall. Locals who were at his memorial said anyone targeting him would have known to look for him there on the Sunday he was killed.
Hussle was also known for his philanthropy in the neighborhood — buying shoes for students, re-paving basketball courts and providing jobs and rennovating a popular Mid-City roller rink.