Sunday evening’s BET Awards featured unforgettable fashion and some epic wins, but they also took time to remember late rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot and killed last March at the age of 33.
Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, wasn’t only a musician, he was a community activist who sought to bring economic growth to his Los Angeles Crenshaw neighborhood.
Hussle was honored with the Best Male Hip Hop Artist, and his philanthropic efforts were also recognized with a Humanitarian Award. The trophy was accepted on his behalf by his family, including girlfriend Lauren London, his children Kross and Emani, his mother Angelique Smith, his father Dawit Asghedom, and his grandmother Margaret Boutte.
His grandmother started by saying, “Everything has been said about my grandson that could be said. I was amazed at how much love was out in the world for him that you uplifted me.” She went on to thank the world for loving him.
Lauren London then spoke, expressing gratitude for everyone’s love and support. Nipsey’s mother Angelique delivered her own heartbreaking and inspiring words about being present at the crime scene after her son was gunned down. When she asked a police officer who was shot, she said her spirit said to her, “Oh. Oh. That’s it,” and then she was “finished processing her son’s assassination.” She went on to add that she felt she and her late child shared the same space, and that he was “nesting” before his death, because his spirit was about to be born.
Nipsey’s father concluded by thanking everyone, and reiterating how much his son wanted to be there.
In addition to the poignant speeches, a touching Nipsey Hussle tribute performance took place featuring artists YG, Marsha Ambrosius, John Legend and DJ Khaled.