The video starts with Khaled walking towards the camera with choir members flanked on either side of him. While on bended knee, he’s joined by Jeremih, a welcome sight following his near-fatal bout with COVID-19. The singer was hospitalized and taken to the ICU late last year where he was placed on a ventilator.
“I had the tube down my throat for about a week and a half,” Jeremih recalled during an appearance on Sway in the Morning. “I was really, like, in a dream and I ain’t gonna lie, I woke up about two times and all I remember is just seeing a white light … What I ended up having—and I don’t mind sharing it because now, you know, I’m here—it was called a [multisystem] inflammatory syndrome. MIS. Which is a rare case of, you know, cause and effect of [COVID-19]. My whole insides, all my organs, became inflamed. It was going down.”
While there are few who perfectly epitomize the sentiment of being thankful in this moment quite like Jeremih, Khaled has developed a reputation for successfully handpicking artists to blend their sounds and styles. Khaled got into his process in a recent interview with Lil Baby for XXL. “I mean, the way I make my records, you know, I start off with the production, the music, the beat. It’s me and my team crafting it up or sometimes it come from somebody I love like Tay Keith or something, you nah I’m sayin’?” he explained. “What I do with that, I make sure the music is right. The beat gotta be right. It gotta speak to me in different levels and different languages and different vibes.”
On the track “Sorry Not Sorry,” Khaled managed to get Jay-Z and Nas, or as he calls them, his two brothers on the same track. It was something that he said took “a few years” to happen. Khaled recalls sitting next to them in a restaurant that also included Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Diddy, and Pharrell, and believing that he could make it happen, but he needed time to build up the courage to ask them.
Now that he can cross a Jay-Z and Nas collab off his bucket list, what lies ahead for Khaled? “My goal is to continue to work with brothers like you all the time,” he told Lil Baby. “But I would love to work with André 3000.” Lil Baby suggested that he and 3000 hop on a track together, which Khaled added would be the lone bonus song off of a deluxe version for his latest album.
Watch the video for “Thankful” up top.