Nelson Mandela, the South African activist who became the face of the anti-apartheid movement, died today (December 5).

He was 95.

Several figures in the rap community, including Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Q-Tip and Troy Ave, paid homage to Mandela on social media.

Mandela was a member of the African National Congress and fought against apartheid, a government-imposed initiative that enacted racial segregation and removed economic and political opportunities from non-whites. Mandela initially fought against apartheid peacefully, but in 1961 he created the military outfit Spear of the Nation, as per

In 1962, Mandela was arrested and accused of treason. He spent 27 years in prison and later served as South Africa’s president.

Mandela’s plight and the fight against apartheid gained global attention in the late 1980s. He and apartheid have been mentioned in several rap songs, including Stetsasonic’s “A.F.R.I.C.A.,” Jadakiss featuring Nas’ “What If” and The Game featuring Nas’ “Letter To The King.”

President Obama delivered a statement about Mandela’s death today.

“We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth,” President Obama said, in part. “He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages. Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, [Mandela] transformed South Africa and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better.”

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