DJ Khaled knew Nipsey Hussle was ''special'' early on and tried to sign him to his record label.

The 'I'm the One' hitmaker has opened up about how ''blessed'' he was to have known the late rapper - who was shot and killed in March outside his Marathon shop in Los Angeles - for more than a decade and revealed he was keen to get him on his label, We the Best Music Group, which is now an imprint of Epic Records, which already had Nipsey on their books at the time.

Speaking to DJ Semtex on the Spotify Original 'Who We Be TALKS_' podcast, Khaled shared: ''I was blessed to know Nipsey for a long time, I've known him probably 12 years.

''I've always been a fan of him ever since he had that documentary out, it is a long time ago and I've seen the documentary of him before I even heard a record, and I was already like this kid is special.

''I actually tried to sign him, he was on Epic that time, and I was working at Def Jam and he came to Miami to record with us and caught a vie and the minute I met him I'm like, 'Yo I am a big fan.'''

Nipsey features on the 43-year-old star's star-studded new album 'Father of Asahd' - which is out now and also features collaborations with Beyonce, Cardi B, Post Malone and Travis Scott, to name a few - on the track 'Higher' with John Legend, which they shot the music video for days before his tragic passing at the age of 33.

Among the tracks is 'Celebrate' featuring hip-hop superstars Travis Scott and Post Malone, and Khaled says he was determined to get both of the rappers in the studio to lay down their lines in person.

He said: ''Travis Scott and Post Malone I fought to make sure we actually recorded the record meaning through everybody's schedule, its Travis Scott coming off 'Astroworld', just fighting through that schedule to get a recordable, before I talk about how we recorded, I just want you to see the picture, the visual of me Travis and Post standing next to each other, those two guys are rock stars, you know, look at Travis right now, look at Post Malone, that's like a dope collab and that's a big collab, especially for the generation now.''

Listen to the full interview on 'Who We Be TALKS_ ' on Spotify now.