Nipsey died in 2019 from gunshot wounds.

By Alex Suskind
January 26, 2020 at 10:58 PM EST

A few hours after winning his first Grammy, for Best Rap Performance on “Racks in the Middle,” the late rapper Nipsey Hussle received a full-fledged Recording Academy tribute. Friends and collaborators hit the stage during Sunday’s Grammys ceremony to perform a gutting rendition of “Higher,” off DJ Khaled’s album Father of Asahd, with help from John Legend, Meek Mill, Kirk Franklin, YG, and Roddy Ricch.

Meek got the set started with a freestyle dedicated to Nip, who was shot and killed in 2019 outside of his store The Marathon Clothing in Los Angeles. “You made me cry, and I don’t cry,” shouted the Philly rapper.

Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The set also served as a tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash earlier in the day.

Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was a towering figure in his community and the music industry. His first official studio album, Victory Lap, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and eventually achieved platinum status.

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