Obama remembers Nipsey Hussle in letter read at memorial service: 'He saw hope'

LOS ANGELES -- Former President Barack Obama remembered Nipsey Hussle as an "an example for young people to follow" and honored his legacy of service during Thursday's memorial honoring the slain rapper.

In a letter read by Hussle's business partner Karen Civil, Obama noted: "While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and only see gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him to always keep going."

Obama highlighted Hussle's work building a training center and coworking space in Los Angeles' Crenshaw neighborhood, adding that he hopes Hussle's legacy "inspires more good work in Crenshaw and communities like it."

Obama, who never met Hussle in person, said he learned of the rapper's music through his daughters and learned more about the rapper's service work after his death.

Full text of Obama's letter:

"I've never met Nipsey, but I've heard his music through my daughters. After his passing, I had the chance to learn more about his transformation and his community work. While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and only see gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him to always keep going.

"His choice to invest in that community rather than to ignore it -- to build a skills training center, a coworking space in Crenshaw to lift up the Eritrean-American community -- he set an example for young people to follow and is a legacy worthy of celebration. I hope his memory inspires more good work in Crenshaw and communities like it."
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