As members of the hip-hop community gather to honor the life of the late Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles, Kendrick Lamar wrote an emotional letter in memory of the West Coast rapper. 

In 2009, I remember trekking cities alongside Nipsey and family. Both performing as opening acts on The Game LAX Tour. Our sprinter van trailed their mobile home from state to state.

Though I was a there as support for my brother Jay Rock, Nipsey greeted me as one of his own. And that was very commendable. Casually I would go out to the crowd and listen to the substance he spewed on stage. Thinking to myself, this is the type of talent I want to be apart of. His charisma and way with words was powerful. But his integrity as a person, made me even more enthused.

I watched a young, ambitious black male orchestrate fellowship amongst the men around him on that tour. Determined to execute one thing — and that was Greatness. Greatness in knowledge, greatness in wealth, and greatness in self. My curiosity about who he really was started to grow from that moment in time. Was he a product if Crenshaw and Slauson? Was he a radical? Or was he a thinker? That mystique kept me engaged throughout his life career. The years progressed, and my admiration grew from up close and from afar. Watching his interviews, his philosophies, and his work amongst the black community.

Time surely revealed itself. I realized Nipsey was all of those perspectives. But most importantly, he was a vessel from God. As my heart aches for him and his family. I understand that the Most High doesn’t make mistakes. I pray that Ermias Foundation continues to blossom. I pray for those who trespass against it.

A true King will be tested in adversity. To stand in fearlessness in what he believes will impact on earth, as well as in heaven. So thank you Nipsey The Radical. Nipsey The Husband. Nipsey The Friend. Nipsey The Great. And from now on, Nipsey The Messenger…... Shalom.

According to screenshots obtained by TMZ, the program for the Celebration of Life memorial also includes letters written by Barack Obama, LeBron James, DJ Khaled, James Harden, the Game, Issa Rae, YG, and more. 

Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was tragically killed on March 31 when he was shot outside his Marathon Clothing store. Since his passing, countless friends, collaborators, and fans, have offered up their love and condolences for such an impactful member of the hip-hop and South Los Angeles communities. 

The memorial service is taking place at Staples Center in Los Angeles, where more than 20,000 people are reportedly honoring Nipsey's legacy. For the fans who were unable to attend, a livestream of the memorial service is available here