DJ Khaled is staring down a milestone weekend in life. The Miami mogul will finally deliver his highly anticipated Father of Asahd album on Friday and make his Saturday Night Live debut as the lead musical guest. Prior to the project’s release, Khaled hopped on FaceTime on Thursday (May 16) to chat with Zane Lowe at Beats 1 about having the chance to collaborate with the late Nipsey Hussle on his album prior to the rapper’s fatal shooting.
After going out to lunch together and playing him the unfinished version of FOA, Khaled then put on the instrumental to the record he was hoping Nip would jump on. “So I play him the record I want him on. So I play him the beat, and we just vibe. I’m vibing, and I see him thinking, right? I’m like, ‘Yo, this special. This that big boy rap, this special,'” Khaled recalled. “I told him I want to put a big boy singer on the hook. So I gave him his space, walked out. Came back in, he’s writing, boom!
“So I said, ‘This is the type of record I would ask Jay-Z to get on,'” the We the Best boss continued. He then boldly predicted that the record would win a Grammy. “I even told him, ‘We’re going to win a grammy.’ Because that’s how I feel about my album,” he states. “I really feel like not only is this my biggest, this is very special.”
“Higher” also features crooning from smooth vocalist John Legend commanding the hook. TMZ teased a clip from when the music video was shot on a rooftop in Los Angeles with Legend on the keys and Nipsey rhyming next to a pair of low-rider convertibles bouncing in the air thanks to some hydrolics.
“We on this rooftop. Man, the energy was so beautiful,” Khaled adds. “It’s been hard for me to watch the video, and listen to the song, but also, it’s very beautiful. When you see it, and hear it, you’re going to understand what I’m saying. It’s very beautiful because long live Nipsey Hussle. The Marathon Continues.”
The 43-year-old also announced that all proceeds from “Higher” will go toward Nipsey’s children, Emani and Kross.
Listen to DJ Khaled’s interview in full on Beats 1 below. Father of Asahd releases at midnight ET.