LOS ANGELES — The marathon continues, DJ Khaled says, announcing on Instagram that his upcoming album will include a track with Nipsey Hussle and that all the money from the song will go to the slain rapper’s children.
The track, dubbed “Higher,” features John Legend on piano and the hook. It will be on Khaled’s 11th album, “Father of Asahd,” slated for release Friday.
In his Wednesday Instagram post, the producer and songwriter said the track was part of a “soul-searching journey.”
“It began when a tragedy robbed the world of an enlightened soul, a brother, a father, a partner and my friend, Nipsey Hussle,” the post said. “Just days prior, he shared his energy and positivity with me on a video set for a song called ‘Higher.'”
After prayer and reflection, and with Nipsey’s family’s blessing, he said. “I am sharing that moment with the world.”
The co-writers, producers and label partners have agreed to donate the earnings from the track to Kross Ashghedom, Nipsey’s son with girlfriend and actor Lauren London, and Emani Ashghedom, his daughter from a previous relationship.
The rhymesmith had developed a reputation not only as skilled lyricist, but also as a deft businessman and philanthropist who was working to curb gang violence and uplift the Crenshaw District where he grew up.
“The very title of the song reminds us that vibrating on a ‘Higher’ level was the essence of Nipsey’s soul,” Khaled wrote.
Though the single hasn’t been released, a one-minute clip from TMZ shows the set of the video, shot on a parking deck in Inglewood. Legend is sitting at a grand piano between two classic cars bouncing on hydraulics.
In his trademark booming voice, Khaled belts out, “Nip, talk to ’em!” before the 33-year-old, dressed in a blue suit, raps into one of the cameras on set.
Legend said on Twitter the video was shot three days before Nipsey was killed.
“I just spent Thursday with him filming a video for a beautiful new song we created with Khaled. We filmed in Inglewood, close to where he grew up. He was so gifted, so proud of his home, so invested in his community. Utterly stunned that he’s gone so soon,” he wrote.
Khaled has been able to keep the details of “Father of Asahd” largely under wraps. He released the album cover earlier this week, picturing him and Asahd, his only son with businesswoman Nicole Tuck, in a tropical setting wearing matching shirts.
He released two singles from the album last year: “Top Off” featuring Beyonce, Future and Jay-Z, and “No Brainer” featuring Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and the Quavo of Migos. According to reports, Cardi B, Post Malone, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne will be among those rounding out the all-star cast of collaborations.
The man suspected in Nipsey’s killing, 29-year-old Eric Holder, faces murder and other charges. He is being held on $5 million bail.