UPDATED: A memorial service for Nipsey Hussle will be held Thursday at the 21,000-capacity Staples Center in the rapper’s hometown of Los Angeles, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. Reps for the artist’s label and the Staples Center did not immediately respond to requests for comment; the news was first reported by TMZ.
The news was confirmed in a tweet from Hussle’s account Monday afternoon.
Join Us for the Celebration of the Life & Legacy of Nipsey Hussle
Thursday, April 11th 2019 – Staples Center
For free tickets & additional Info… https://t.co/gG5gFDLKgF
— THA GREAT (@NipseyHussle) April 8, 2019
According to the TMZ report, Hussle’s family met with Staples Center management this week and ushers have been asked to reserve the day; tickets will be sold online. The venue will have to mobilize quickly for the service, as the final game of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team takes place there the day before. Hussle was a dedicated Los Angeles Lakers fan and was a frequent courtside presence at their games. Lakers player LeBron James honored Hussle before Thursday’s game by wearing a shirt imprinted with an illustration of his face.
The 33-year-old Hussle (legal name: Ermias Asghedom) was murdered Sunday in front of Marathon Clothing, one of several businesses he owned in his native South Los Angeles. Police on Tuesday arrested Eric Holder and Thursday filed charges of murder and attempted murder against him; he is being held on $5 million bail. He appeared in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Thursday afternoon, where he was represented by attorney Chris Darden. Darden entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
LAPD chief Michel Moore said on Tuesday that Holder and Hussle got into a dispute at the clothing store. Holder left and came back with a gun, shooting Hussle several times before fleeing in a white Chevy Cruze. While both men had gang affiliations, the motive for the shooting does not appear to be gang-related. Two men were also injured in the shooting outside the store, which is located at Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue.
Holder, 29, also faces a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted.
While Hussle was a Grammy-nominated rapper and a long-established figure on the hip-hop scene — he released his first mixtape in 2005 — his musical influence is overshadowed by his work as an entrepreneur and businessman, and particularly his influence on his home neighborhoods in South Los Angeles. He owned many businesses in the area and was renowned for his kindness to the community, giving jobs to struggling residents, donating money and clothing to a local elementary school.
Staples Center was the site of Michael Jackson’s public memorial service in 2009.