Nipsey Hussle requested a ‘Stevie Wonder song’ to be played at his funeral, and the legendary singer answered the Grammy-nominated rapper’s call.
Stevie Wonder, 68, paid attention to Nipsey Hussle’s lyrics. The slain rapper rapped in his 2016 track “Ocean Views” to “play a Stevie Wonder song” if he dies, and the legendary singer did just that by taking the stage to perform his 1980 hit, “Rocket Love,” at Nipsey’s “Celebration of Life” memorial in Los Angeles on April 11. The 25-time Grammy Award winner also sang a cover of Eric Clapton’s 1992 track, “Tears From Heaven.” But Stevie did not just attend Nipsey’s funeral in Los Angeles’ Staples Center to perform, as he had more than a few words for America’s leaders and citizens.
“It is a heartbreak to again lose a member of our family. It is a heartbreak because it’s so unnecessary. We, to be a civilized nation, civilized world, we still are living in time where ego, anger, jealousy is controlling our lives,” Stevie told the 21,000 mourners at Nipsey’s funeral. “It is so painful to know that we don’t have enough people taking a position that says, ‘Listen, we must have stronger gun laws.’ It’s unacceptable. It’s almost like the world is becoming blind. I pray that we would grow. I pray that the leaders, who have a responsibility, to perpetuate life, will do it by making sure that the laws, will make it so very hard for people to have guns and to take their frustrations out to kill life.”
“I’m very grateful that, in his short life, he was able to motivate people and I hope that it motivates you enough to say, listen, enough of people being killed by guns and violence. I hope that we don’t just talk about it but that we be about it to make a difference for our future,” Stevie concluded. Nipsey, who was 33 years old, was shot dead outside his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles on March 31. Nipsey, an advocate against gang violence, was shot in front of the shopping plaza he had purchased with a business partner for the future betterment of the community. Eric Ronald Holder, Jr., 29, was accused of the homicide, but he pleaded not guilty to the crime in court on April 4.
Jhené Aiko, 31, was the other performer at her funeral, and she sang her well-known track, “Eternal Sunshine,” for the crowd. Nipsey’s girlfriend, Lauren London, the rapper’s parents Angelique Smith and Dawit Asghedom,his 2-year-old son with Lauren, Kross, and Lauren’s son with Lil Wayne, Cameron Carter, were among those who were handed the mic. Celebrities like Meek Mill, JAY-Z, Beyoncé, YG, Cassie, Issa Rae and G-Eazy watched on.