Minister Farrakhan Speaks At Los Angeles Memorial Service For Nipsey Hussle
By Paul Krugman
[The hip hop artist, visionary, entrepreneur and community builder Nipsey Hussle, who was born Ermias Asghedom, was remembered during funeral services April 11 at the Staples Center sports arena in Los Angeles, which drew some 21,000 people inside the facility and thousands of others gathered outside and in other parts of the city to honor this son of South Central Los Angeles. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, joined onstage by Student Supreme Captain Mustapha Farrakhan and Student Minister Tony Muhammad, the Nation of Islam representative in Los Angeles, delivered brief remarks during the homegoing service for a man who touched Los Angeles and the world.]
I bear witness to the Oneness of God and His intention to create the one community where all in His government of peace will live together in peace. I greet all of you with the greeting words of peace—we say it in the Arabic language, As-Salaam Alaikum. (Peace Be Unto You.)
To the mother, father, family, friends of Ermias Asghedom known to the world as Nipsey Hussle, it is a great honor for me, and for us, to be here to honor a life that will become more famous in death than in life and the work that his life will produce will go down in history as something that changed the world.
The name Ermias in the language of the Eritrean people means God Is Rising. The name Nipsey in that same language means “homie” a brother from the ‘hood that never really left the ‘hood. But, now the whole world will embrace him as his life and his death changes the ‘hood and produces a profound change in the world.
To all of us who are here who come to pay our respect to this prophetic soul, who is to hip hop and rap what Bob Marley was to reggae, he is the prophetic voice of all in that community. What do I mean by that? He lived a gang life, but he didn’t stay there. He lived the life of the ‘hood, but he rose above the pull of gravity.
They showed me a picture of Ermias with wings on. In the Scripture it says, “behold I send my messenger from before my face. He will prepare the way before me and in his wings there is healing.” I saw that picture of my brother Ermias with wings. And, I saw him soaring above the ‘hood. Some saw him and said, “where he going? Is he ever going to come back?” And, sometimes when you can fly above the circumstances of your life, it produces envy, enmity and jealousy among those who have not yet learned how to fly.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, National Representative of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, speaks onstage during Nipsey Hussle’s Celebration of Life at Staples Center on April 11 in Los Angeles, California. Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in front of his clothing store, The Marathon, on March 31 in Los Angeles. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images For Atlantic Records
But Ermias was more than a hip hop artist. He was a voice. He was a brilliant mind and the Spirit of God was in his life. As I was coming here today, riding in the car, I thought of the swallows that fly from Capistrano and they always come back. I thought of the numbers that fly away. These swallows are small birds, but the face, the wings and the back of that bird, the color is blue. On the head is red and the breast is a combination of cinnamon. I said to myself coming here, “God what sign are you showing me in the life of my brother?” I never knew him like you know him, but I know him because he comes from God to make a statement in this world that will live into the next world.
That swallow flies 600 miles a day as it leaves Capistrano in California. But in that journey of 6,000 miles to Goya, Argentina, it flies in October from America, spends the winter in Argentina where it is summer and then in the Spring it flies back to Capistrano. Our brother never left the ‘hood. He loved the Rolling ‘60’s. I thank Russell Westbrook, who loved Nipsey, and he did something in a basketball game, scoring 20 points, 20 rebounds and 20 assists—20/20/20—and he said, “this is for you, Nipsey.”
Now let’s look at 20+20+20, it’s 60. In the Book of Revelation, bear with me five more minutes, it says, “Here’s wisdom, count the number of the Beast, for it is the number of a man six hundred, three score (which is 60) and six.” But the beast mark is the mark of a man—that a man came up out of living the life of a beast. I’m saying this to my hip hop community, to my young brothers and sisters, you live like the mark of the beast that is in your forehead and in your hands. For, it’s so easy for us to murder one another, to kill one another, to disrespect one another, to disrespect our women. But out of that 60 there was a man; a man rose above the mark of the beast and the mind of a beast and became a man, a giant, a spiritual man.
I hope that we will never dishonor the name of Ermias Asghedom, Nipsey Hussle, and go back to that life. I pray that as he loved the Red like he loved the Blue—Elijah Muhammad, my teacher, taught me and us that there’s a Blue and a Red star that are seen in the universe once every 50,000 years. And, when that Blue and that Red star are seen, it is a signal and a sign of universal change.
So when Brother Nipsey put on the Red and the Blue, he walked among the Blue with a heart for the Red and all the colors in between because his life was for the unity of the Red and the Blue—the unity of the ‘hood. When we celebrate Nipsey, we must celebrate unity and if we in the name of Nipsey, in the name of Ermias Asghedom, decide today at this memorial for him, at this homegoing for him, his home going will be a life call for us to get up from where we are and be a new man and a new woman and take the mark of the beast out of our hands, out of our head and take on knowledge that we may fly like he flew above the condition of the ‘hood and above the condition of the world.
I close with this verse from the Qur’an: “Speak not of those who die or are slain in the way of God as dead. They are alive but you understand not.” His body is dead but the mind of Ermias Asghedom and the spirit of Nipsey is alive. Like a star in the universe that comes out of a black hole and a star dies but the light of that star traveling 196,000 miles a second is still coming from space to reach us though the star that produced that light is dead.
The physical life of the brother is gone but the spiritual life of Nipsey Hussle, Ermias Asghedom, lives on and on and on and up and up and up and we will fly away with him to a brighter tomorrow.