Snoop Dogg started off his tribute to Nipsey Hussle by assuring the longtime love of the slain rapper, Lauren London, that she’ll always have ‘a shoulder to cry on’ and more.
Snoop Dogg, 47, had to pause at one point while addressing the roughly 21,000 mourners gathered for Nipsey Hussle’s “Celebration of Life” memorial in Los Angeles’ Staples Center on April 11. The longtime friend to the deceased rapper was brought to tears after beginning his speech with a heartfelt shout-out to Lauren London, 34, who had dated Nipsey since 2013 and bore his son, Kross, 2. “I want to start off by showing some love to Lauren and Nipsey’s children. I want to send Lauren a lot of love for being a beloved queen to our king,” Snoop began, right after praising the actress’s soulmate for being a great “leader,” “father” and more. Snoop continued, “See, what we lose focus on is that every real black man needs a real black woman in his life. Every time I would see Nip and Lauren out, they reminded me of me and my wife. It was like black excellence. You loved to see them.”
Snoop then let Lauren know that she’ll never be alone. “So, with that being said, Lauren — my wife, my family, my kids, we’re here for you. Whatever you need, whatever you need. You need a shoulder to cry on, if you need a hug…we’re here for you. We love you baby girl. We always have and we always will.” At this point, Snoop had to turn away from the podium and hold back his tears. Snoop also made sure to speak highly of Nipsey’s parents Dawit Asghedom and Angelique Smith, in addition to the rapper’s remarkable legacy (“He ended up doing things in the community and he built his own doggyland”).
Snoop was listed as one of the many family speakers to deliver tributes to Nipsey, who was shot dead outside his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles on March 31. The Grammy-nominated rapper passed away at the young age of 33. Lauren promised Nipsey on stage that she loves him “beyond this Earth,” while his mother said that her son “knows the secret to the mystery of life.”
Off the stage, big names like JAY-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Issa Rae, YG Russell Westbrook wrote tribute letters that were published in the memorial program. Stevie Wonder, 68, and Jhené Aiko, 31, also attended Nipsey’s memorial to deliver performances.