For his latest album, DJ Khaleddrew inspiration from who he calls his “biggest blessing”: His 2-year-old son.
Father of Asahd, his 11th major studio record, was released on Friday and the list of artists who provided guest vocals reads like a Who’s Who of the world of hip-hop and pop.
Late rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot dead in March, and John Legend are featured on Khaled’s track “Higher.” The three also appear in a music video for the song, which was filmed earlier this year. More videos for other tracks are set for release over the next few days.
In a message posted on Instagram on Wednesday, Khaled recalled how days before Nipsey’s death, the rapper shared his “energy and positivity” with him on the video set of “Higher.”
“After much prayer and reflection; and with the full blessing of the Asghedom family, I am sharing that moment with the world,” Khaled wrote. “The very title of the song reminds us that vibrating on a ‘Higher’ level was the essence of Nipsey’s soul. It is in this spirit, of moving forward, of preserving his mission that I, my co-workers, producers and label partners are donating 100% of all our proceeds from ‘Higher’ to Nipsey’s children, Emani and Kross.”
Watch the video for “Higher” below.
The lead single is his 2018 track “Top Off,” featuring Jay-Z, his wife Beyoncé—who is credited as “B,” and Future.
Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Quavo are featured on the second single “No Brainer,” also released last year.
Cardi B and 21 Savage provide guest vocals on the track “Wish Wish.” The song “Jealous” features Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Big Sean.
“This is my most important album in my life,” Khaled said in a video message posted on Instagram on Friday. “I made this album for my family, my son and my queen [wife Nicole Tuck], I love you so much. I made this album for my fans and I made this album for all my people that believed in me. Thank you so much, I’m very grateful.”
In March, Khaled also talked to E! News’ Justin Sylvester about his Father of Asahd album.
“I’m gonna set the bar so high,” he said. “Meaning as in, it’s time to get back to hit records, it’s time to get back to records that make you get bone chills and goosebumps and in the party and the anthems and the records that make you put your hands up it’s time to get back, ’cause there’s a big difference between good and great. So when this album comes out, that’s gonna be the new bar.”
“Not only is it personal, it’s for all my fans worldwide,” he continued. “And I want people to know the title is not only the father, the son and the family love relationship. It’s about the journey to become the man who I am, father of Asahd. So, when the young world hear the album and understand the roll-out and understand what the name means, it means basically, me climbing that mountaintop and never stopping, and while I’m climbing, I became me and the father of my biggest blessing, my son Asahd. So it’s like, I want people to know, this is inspirational, motivational, anything’s possible. Don’t think it’s impossible. Make it possible.”