LOS ANGELES • More than a month after Nipsey Hussle's shock murder, hitmaker DJ Khaled has released a music video for their joint track, Higher, featuring footage of the rapper filmed days before his death.
"Recently, I embarked on a soul-searching journey down a road I never thought I would travel in a million years. It began when a tragedy robbed the world of an enlightened soul, a brother, a father, a partner and my friend, Nipsey Hussle," Khaled said on Instagram of the rapper, whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom.
"Just days prior, he shared his energy and positivity with me on a video set for a song called Higher," Khaled continued. "After much prayer and reflection, and with the full blessing of the Asghedom family, I am sharing that moment with the world."
Khaled said all proceeds from the gospel-tinged song would go to Hussle's children, Emani and Kross.
The video opens with Grammy-nominated Hussle dressed all in blue, rapping about his family's history in the gritty Los Angeles neighbourhood he called home as well as his father's journey to the United States from Eritrea.
Decorated singer John Legend contributed vocals for the song's chorus and posted on Instagram that he is "proud to be a part of this inspiring record with @djkhaled and @nipseyhussle. We lost him too soon".
Widely regarded as a hero of the LA district he worked tirelessly to uplift, Hussle was gunned down in daylight outside his clothing store on March 31. He was 33.
Eric Holder, a 29-year-old man accused of the shooting, pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Hussle was also an entrepreneur and philanthropist who led efforts to eradicate organised violence in his hometown. The killing triggered an outpouring of grief in the California metropolis and among his music industry peers.
Higher is part of Khaled's new album, Father Of Asahd, released last Friday.