Behind the Beats: DJ Khaled
We know DJ Khaled for being so much more than a DJ. He's an exec and a promoter and he manages producers the Runners and the Inkredibles. All that and a dancer? Nah.
"I used to be the king of suicide flips, laying on your back, hurting the game," Khaled said as he sat on his tour bus talking to Ace Hood, pulling out of Miami.
Back when Khaled was much younger, he used to stay in North Carolina and go by the name of "Special K." As you might guess, though, Khaled's strongest hip-hop calling as a youngster was spinning wax.
"I used to collect vinyl — 'Rebel Without a Pause,' 'Peter Piper,' LL Cool J's 'Rock the Bells.' Tuff Crew, 'So damn tough! Rock on,' " said the man born Khaled Khaled. "I used to have one turntable, cutting it up. From there, it became a movement."
Khaled has the loudest movement in hip-hop. Nobody in the game knows how to verbally sell himself like the New Orleans native turned Miami Mayor. He talks in sound bites, he tells you everything he does is a "movie," and we here at Mixtape Daily haven't known the man to be a liar. His yearly birthday parties, known as "The Temple," have become legendary for all the celebrities he brings out, but that isn't anything compared to his albums. Jay-Z, Kanye West, T.I., Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Jadakiss, Beanie Sigel, Fat Joe, the Diplomats, Akon, T-Pain — they've all contributed to Khaled's three projects. He's a producer, but Khaled's calling is as an orchestrator. He knows how to put the right people together. He's made songs such as "Brown Paper Bag" and both versions of "I'm So Hood" summer-smash events.
"They're real and they got love, and they just musical geniuses. When Ace goes in the studio, he vibes on the beat, executes, and it comes out amazing," Khaled said about his favorite artists to work with. You notice how he started out with Ace Hood, the guy he signed as the lead artist from his We the Best Music Group — always pushing his product. "Lil Wayne, when thinking he's not thinking, he already has the whole verse ready to tear it down. T-Pain is amazing."
Island/ Def Jam Chairman L.A. Reid saw Khaled's impact and recently appointed him head of Def Jam South. Khaled is batting a G, acting as A&R for Rick Ross' Deeper Than Rap and coming up with the best hip-hop album of the year so far. Khaled wants to top that quality with Ace's upcoming Ruthless LP, Rick Ross' fourth album and Khaled's own upcoming project, Victory.
"I'm about to change the game up, because I'm gonna celebrate the wins," Khaled said about his success. "That's why I named it Victory. I always inspire people with my music — always."
Khaled clocks in at 10 a.m. and doesn't clock out until 6 a.m. He starts at his newly built office/studio for record-label business, goes to the radio station to host his show on 99 Jamz, and then heads back to his office/studio. "The hardest part of my day is when I wake up," he laughed. "It's just trying to do everything in a 24-hour clock."
Five-Star Stellar Khaled Hits
» "We Taking Over." "That changed my career," Khaled said. "The verse Lil Wayne put on there was a historical verse. They named Lil Wayne's verse the best verse of the year, I read a few places. Then you had Birdman introduce him [on his part]. Then you had Ross and Fat Joe, Akon, T.I.! The record's huge."
»"I'm So Hood." " 'I'm So Hood' repped Florida at its fullest," Khaled declared. "Trick Daddy, Ricky Ross and Plies! And the Runners and myself. That's the state of Florida. That record ended up being the biggest record of my life."
Hottest Streak Thus Far
From 2006 to present, when he dropped his debut album Listennn ... the Album (2006), We the Best (2007) and We Global (2008).
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