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Following Nipsey Hussle Day in Los Angeles ~ Crowds Line Route for Slain Artist on ‘Victory Lap’ Procession [Updated]

Los Angeles, CA – April 11: Rapper Nipsey Hussle’s brother, Samiel Asghedom, seen alongside Nipsey Hussle’s hearse during Nipsey’s Memorial Victory Lap on April 11, 2019. (Brian Feinzimer)

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]n emotional and moving memorial service attended by thousands of family, fans, and neighbors at Staples Center was followed by a 25-mile procession in honor of slain artist Nipsey Hussle.

All day Thursday, the city and South L.A. in particular banded together across neighborhood lines to bid farewell to a figure whose legacy will live on as a community-minded entrepreneur and activistCrowds of everyday Angelenos across South Los Angeles lined the route of the Hussle's "victory lap," from downtown to Watts, Inglewood, and finally Crenshaw.

A scene from the Nipsey Hussle Memorial Victory Lap on April 11, 2019. Photo by Brian Feinzimer.
Los Angeles, CA - April 11: Nipsey Hussle Memorial Victory Lap on April 11, 2019. (Brian Feinzimer)

Earlier, at the memorial service, members of the artist's family and his closest friends shared tearful and uplifting stories about Nipsey's rise from selling CDs and clothing at Slauson and Crenshaw, to own the block.

"I have peace. I am happy. I am strong,” said Angelique Smith, Nipsey's mom, dressed in white. “And if I can feel this way, so can you,” she told the crowd of an estimated 20,000 people who attended.

Nipsey Hussle was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, his father Dawit Asghedom told the crowd. "That's when I first knew he was a fighter," he said. Born Ermias Asghedom and raised in the Slauson-Crenshaw area of Hyde Park, Hussle built an independent mini-empire containing a clothing label, a music label, and restaurants.

He was killed during a personal dispute at the clothing store he founded on March 31 at age 33.

"He told me it was paradise." - Cameron Carter on his dream about Nipsey in the afterlife. #NipseyForever pic.twitter.com/MEzqiDloZU

— L.A. TACO 🌴🌮 (@LATACO) April 11, 2019

“If I die today, you made the set proud [...] You made the world proud, look at this s--t,” his brother Sam said during his statements, his voice breaking, as the service was streamed on live television locally. “We bought the lot, man,” Sam went on, drawing cheers .

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]s a teenager, Hussle built his own working computer out of spare parts, his brother recalled. He later recorded some of his first songs on it. "His IQ was unbelievable," Samiel Asghedom told the crowd.

Nipsey's sister Samantha Smith remembered her big brother as her protector. "I feel more fearless now that you're gone because I know you're with me all the time," she said with her hand over her heart.

"His soul was majestic, Nipsey's longtime girlfriend Lauren London said. "And he is in all of us. And until we meet again, The Marathon Continues."

Nipsey's parents, Angelique Smith and Dawit Asghedom/via Live Feed.
Nipsey's parents, Angelique Smith and Dawit Asghedom/via Live Feed.

The procession — dubbed a “victory lap” for Hussle, the name of his 2018 debut album — streamed through much of the sites that marked his music, life, and career. It was an often chaotic scene, with well-wishers gathering in the street and crowding the route.

At the corner of Wilmington Avenue and Century Boulevard, in Watts, throngs of people began congregating in a triangular median island since early afternoon. People smoked blunts, played Nipsey Hussle's music, and sipped drinks from foam cups. Families came out with children and pet dogs. It was an organic community moment.

Motorcyclists and lowriders drove in a caravan after Nipsey's hearse passed/Photo by Daniel Hernandez.
Motorcyclists and lowriders drove in a caravan after Nipsey's hearse passed/Photo by Daniel Hernandez.

"He was a black man and he did good things for everybody," said a woman named Cathy H., 62, who stood with four of her seven children. "Love each other, respect each other," she said about the young people gathered around her.

"Don't nobody wants to go outside and get shot just because what somebody said about you or have a fight," Cathy said. "Everyone is out here for a reason. Try to come to your reason."

By 5 pm, the procession had still not reached the Marathon Clothing store. Developing ... Watch:

[First posted, 12:59 pm]

[Updated, 5:24 pm]

* This is developing story, check back for updates. Follow @LATACO on Twitter and Instagram for more.

* Erick Galindo, Tina Sampay, and Brian Fienzimer contributed to this report.

RELATED: 'There Are Nipsey Hussles Everywhere' ~ Listen to the L.A. Taco Podcast

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