Nipsey Hussle's family, including his girlfriend Lauren London, gathered at his grandmother's home to comfort one another and share memories of the late star

The parents of slain rapper Nipsey Hussle have broken their silence, just over a week after he was gunned down outside of his clothing store in Los Angeles on March 31.

The family, including his longtime girlfriend Lauren London, gathered in the South L.A. home of Hussle’s grandmother to comfort one another and share memories of the late star.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, his mother Angelique Smith recalled Hussle’s early years as a precocious student who asked to be placed in the advanced classes in school.

“He recognized at an early age his own capability,” she said of her boy, born Ermias Asghedom. “His own potential. He has always known.”

Smith continued, saying that she hoped Hussle would be “remembered as a humble, spirited, respectful man who had, since his childhood, had an extraordinary and unlimited intellectual capacity.”

Nipsey Hussle.
| Credit: Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Hussle’s father, Dawit Asghedom, spoke of the powerful messages and meanings found in his son’s music.

“It was like he was sent by God to give some love to bring us together because that’s what his lyrics were saying, always,” he explained. “He’s not shy to tell the truth even though it might not look good. He wasn’t scared of anything. [God] sent him to send a message.”

Asghedom has found comfort in knowing that his son’s songs had reached the masses and sparked positive change. “We all have a plan, but God has his own plan,” he added. “So he had completed what he needed to be doing and he did it early so [God] probably want to take him early too.”

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Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London.
| Credit: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

London, who is mother to their 2½-year-old son Kross, spoke about how she’s coping with the loss and choosing to remember her romantic partner of five years.

“I’m going to keep my head high and always represent for my king to the fullest,” she says. “He loved his kids. He was a family man. His family came first.” The 34-year-old actress previously paid tribute to tribute to Hussle on Instagram last week, sharing a slideshow of photos of them together with their family, including Hussle’s daughter Emani from a previous relationship. Among the photos shared, London included a sweet image of Hussle throwing their son in the air.

“I am completely lost,” London wrote. “I’ve lost my best friend, my sanctuary, my protector, my soul. We are lost without you babe — I have no words.”

This coming Thursday, a Celebration of Life and Legacy ceremony will be held for Hussle at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles — a venue that holds 21,000 people. The service, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., will be free to California residents.

Hussle, 33, died from gunshot wounds of both the head and torso, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed last Monday. “Paramedics were called and [Hussle who was born Ermias Joseph Asghedom] was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m.,” the coroner said, in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

Eric Holder, 29, has since been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to a release from the Los Angeles County’s District Attorney’s Office.

On Thursday, he entered a plea of not guilty in court. The aspiring rapper could face a maximum sentence of life in state prison if convicted.