Preparations are underway for Thursday's memorial service for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle.
Hussle will be honored at a celebration of his life at the Staples Center downtown, beginning at 10 a.m. and expected to end at noon.
Following a "Celebration of Life" at the same 21,000-seat arena where pop superstar Michael Jackson was memorialized 10 years ago, Hussle's body will be taken on a 25-mile funeral procession through many of the mean streets where he was raised and that he was trying to uplift when he was shot to death outside his Marathon Clothing store last month.
Thousands are expected to turn out as the hearse carrying Hussle's coffin from the Staples Center travels deep into the neighborhood where the deadly Rodney King race riot began in 1992 and on past the property where Hussle had planned to turn an aging strip mall into new businesses and affordable homes. Finally, it will arrive at a funeral home in the city's hard-scrabble Crenshaw district, where the rapper was born Ermias Ashgedom on Aug. 15, 1985.
"I definitely plan to be out there and paying my final respects," said Glauz Diego who, although he didn't follow Hussle's music closely, was proud to meet him when the rapper stopped by the offices of the Los Angeles Community Coalition where Diego is one of the executives. The rapper had come to meet with local officials to discuss ways to improve the community.
About 21,000 free tickets were offered to Thursday's event at Staples Center. They were sold out within 10 minutes.
No speakers have so far been announced. Organizers said if you don't have a ticket, you are asked not to come to Staples Center. No footage of the memorial will be shown on any outdoor screens.
Instead, fans have been urged to line the route that will wind through South Los Angeles. The route will begin near USC on Vermont Avenue before heading into Inglewood and Watts, and will pass by his Marathon clothing store on the way to Angelus Funeral home.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation plans to implement "rolling street closures" as the procession progresses, increasing the likelihood of traffic jams all over town.