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LOS ANGELES—Children—everywhere, from babies to young teens—welcomed motorcycle riders, low riders, folks driving Corvettes, riding sports bikes and minibikes into Gonzalez Park in Compton for the 75th Peace Ride.
The highly anticipated event was dedicated to slain, beloved rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle and mothers of murdered children.
It was an unusual sight. Not just the three-mile procession, but children and families enjoying the park without threat of gang or gun violence. The purpose of the Peace Rides is to reduce gang violence through education and community involvement.
The June 23 Peace Ride was one of the best ever, in particular because over 150 more gang sets dropped their rags into a “basket of peace” and additional participation from the Los Angeles police department and sheriff’s department, said Student Minister Abdul Malik Sayyid Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 27 in Los Angeles. The basket of peace symbolizes those gang members will agree to stop the killing.
Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Ashgedom made music about the rough, gritty reality of the L.A. gang lifestyle as a member of the Rollin’ 60s Crips but he’d begun to evolve his message and worked toward forging peace between rival gangs.
“To have the rest of the rides in Nipsey’s name and it was one of the things that he wanted. It was unprecedented to have the Peace Ride end in a Blood neighborhood, which was actually an enemy to his set, that welcomed us,” said Student Minister Sayyid Muhammad, who also serves as western regional representative for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Days before he was allegedly gunned March 31 by Eric Ronald Holder, Jr., a Crip and rapper also known as “Shitty Cuz,” in front of his Marathon Clothing Store in South L.A., Nipsey put on thousands of dollars’ worth of gold chains and jewelry, and traveled alone by city bus to the various ’hoods across the city, according to Student Minister Sayyid Muhammad.
The self-made millionaire, who has inspired millions worldwide, told those he encountered that he was offering his life if it would end the bloodshed, said the Muslim minister.