DJ Khaled has just dropped his new album and his most recent single is called “Higher”. On “Higher,” DJ Khaled enlists John Legend and the late great Nipsey Hussle for his first posthumous verse ☹ .
It’s crazy because when a well-known or well-loved artist dies, people always seem to find lyrics in their songs that hint that they were somehow aware of their future untimely deaths. With this being the last song Nipsey recorded a video for before he died, the lyrics were always going to be under the microscope. If you are just listening to Nipsey Hussle for the first time and heard this song, its understandable how you could come to that conclusion.
With this being the last song Nipsey recorded and filmed a video for before he died, the lyrics were always going to be under the microscope. The song feels very spiritual and I believe DJ Khaled was going for that exact vibe. John Legend fits perfectly in this song as his voice has a calming effect while he sings; “Oh, you keep taking me higher and higher (Yeah) But don’t you know that the devil is a liar?”. Nipsey starts off his verse by saying “My granny 88, she had my uncle and then a miscarriage back-to-back every year for like ten”. The reference to his Gran is similar to his previous release “Racks in The Middle” where he says; “See my granny on a jet, some shit I’ll never forget”. In his first verse apart from the mention of his Grandma, Nipsey references his girlfriend Lauren London, his parents, kids, his heritage and his area. Nipsey has always rapped about those topics and it proves how much he believed and was fueled by all those factors that made him who he was. Regardless of the meaning behind the song we all knew exactly what he meant by those references whenever he mentioned them.
The second verse of the song people may feel more chills for. Nipsey talks about God and how “I was thinkin’ chess moves but it was God’s grace”, every time he thought he was lucky he has now realised was due to his faith and to God. Nip also states “South Central state of mind, high crime rate” demonstrating the lack of peace in the community he lived and loved. In his final lines of his verse he states “Homicide, hate, gang banging’ll get you all day (Yeah, yeah)…And look at my fate”. This is more chilling due to the fact he was also unfortunately killed in this area due to hate and jealousy.
There are so many personal interpretations for this record and I don’t believe anyone has a “wrong” view. For me, this song just demonstrated and reiterated the views and wisdom Nipsey had. He was also very realistic, he knew he lived in a society that could be dangerous at times and all he did was try to encourage us to do better. He didn’t specifically predict his death but he was describing the reality of his surroundings. Somehow the video to this song feels like a video done for someone in memory. Nipsey is in his usual Blue coloured clothes with his people wearing his clothing label which is great and most importantly, he is the main attraction of the whole song.
I found myself tearing up listening to this song and watching the video. However, I felt a sense of calmness and that is due to the fact Nipsey has left behind a legacy. People will learn about him for years to come and with DJ Khaled saying he is donating all proceeds from this song to Nipsey’s children, I couldn’t think of a more fitting song to leave them with.
We will forever miss you Nipsey Hussle but we will never forget you and what you have taught us. Long live Nipsey Hussle!!
THE. MARATHON. WILL. CONTINUE.