After giving kudos to Nipsey’s partner Lauren London (“every time I would see Nip and Lauren out…it was black excellence”) and each of Nipsey’s parents (“you may have lost a son, but you picked up another son in me”), Snoop, wearing an all-blue ensemble of a shirt, pants and a leather jacket, recounted the first time he met Nipsey. A lot of aspiring musicians go to him asking for a record deal, but Nip was different.
“Most rappers, when they push up on Snoop Dogg with a tape, this is their line: ‘Hey dog, listen to my music, I can make you a million dollars.’ Nipsey’s line was, ‘hey homie, listen to my music. Just give it a listen.’ That’s it? No record deal? You don’t want to get put on?” Snoop remembered. “To me, he had vision to know and understand, I don’t want to be handed out nothing. I’m going to come get mine.”
Snoop didn’t listen for a while–he even said that he broke up his weed on the CD case one time, drawing laughs from the audience–but when he finally heard Nipsey’s music, he was impressed by his fellow Crip.
“We ended up connecting, making music together,” he said, “making a brotherhood, creating a bond, something that was special.”
Many people compared Nipsey to Snoop Dogg when he was coming up, and Snoop made note of the similarities–both the obvious ones and the ones underneath the surface.
“I think it was the fact that he was tall, he was lanky, he had braids, he had that LA mentality. And he claimed a gang, so it’s natural to be categorized,” Snoop said. “But one thing me and Nip had was a kind spirit. We had that spirit of love. People magnate to Snoop Dogg, and they magnate towards Nipsey. When we met, it was like a magnet coming together.”
Toward the end of his ten-minute speech, Snoop shared a story about Nipsey’s business mind and creative vision. Nipsey had repeatedly told Snoop Dogg to build an amusement park based on his likeness, and eventually, Snoop responded by asking Nipsey to just do it for him since he didn’t know how to do it. “I said ‘Nip, why don’t you go ahead and do it for me cuz, because I don’t understand the dynamics of what you’re saying,” he said. “I’m an old school nigga. I’m ABCD, you don’ went off in the Matrix, cuz.’”
But then, Snoop said, Nipsey did just that. He now famously bought a strip mall in his neighborhood and flooded it with several businesses, most notably the Marathon Clothing Store, and co-founded Vector 90, a STEM center and business incubator in Los Angeles.
“Nipsey created a square, buying property, and having things like Vector 90 and doing things in the community. He built his own Doggyland. He built his own world,” Snoop beamed. “He built his own thing that people from around the world are starting to come to, take pictures of, stand in front of, immortalize this man. The things that he wanted for me, he did for himself. But he had vision for me that I didn’t even have for myself.”
He was also proud of Nipsey’s willingness to make music with people from other gangs, despite him being a Rolling 60’s Crip.
“I was explaining it to him. … You made records with YG, you make records with Game, you make records with Problem. You making records with Bloods,” Snoop said. “Cripping and Bloods making records and y’all really bonding, y’all really love each other. Y’all pulling up together, you’re in their neighborhoods, you’re loving them and they’re loving you. You are a peace advocate, Nip.”
Other performers and speakers at the funeral included Anthony Hamilton, Marsha Ambrosius, YG, Stevie Wonder, and more.
Watch Snoop Dogg’s speech above.