MILWAUKEE -- Fans across the country are mourning the loss of rapper Nipsey Hussle. The artist was shot and killed Sunday, March 31 in Los Angeles. His music influenced millions and here in Milwaukee, many paid their respects during a candlelight vigil on Saturday, April 6.
The event was also co-sponsored by Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention. State Senator Lena Taylor also spoke to the large crowd about the talented musician taken way too soon.
"Even though we didn't know him personally, he really was a brother to the entire black community," said Miela Fetaw, event organizer.
Miela Fetaw put together the vigil because of an admiration that extends beyond lyrics and beats.
"Him and I share the same cultural heritage. His father is from Eritrea, a very small but bountiful country in the horn of Africa," said Fetaw.
The country's flag hung next to photos of the artist at the gathering. Hussle was shot and killed outside of his South L.A. clothing store. The suspect, Eric Holder, was arrested on Tuesday, April 2. Police say the rapper was a member of a street gang. Holder allegedly had gang ties as well however, investigators say the dispute between the two does not appear to be gang-related.
"He will be remembered by his music but also everything that he stood for," said Keesha Dennis, fan of Nipsey Hussle.
Hussle worked to bring peace to the streets of his hometown, and was scheduled to meet with the Los Angeles Police Department earlier this week to discuss gang violence prevention. He was killed a day before the meeting.
"Anytime that we lose someone to gun violence, in our community or in the world, it impacts all of us," said the director of Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention, Reggie Moore.
In addition to prayers, there were candles and tears. Organizers released 33 balloons, one for each year the rapper was alive.
"People are going to make sure that people gonna remember him," said Dennis.
A California congresswoman plans to honor Hussle on the House floor. A sign of just how popular the Grammy-nominated artist was, according to TMZ, his family plans on holding a memorial service for him at the 21,000-seat Staples Center in Los Angeles.