Behind The Beats: DJ Khaled

"I'm in beast mode," DJ Khaled told Mixtape Daily when he stopped by to visit the 1515 Boys in a Champion hoodie and an extra scruffy beard.

You can't blame him for the look. The Miami don is hard at work on his next album, Victory, the fourth installment of his hit anthems. The project is slated for a 2010 release on his We the Best imprint with E1 Records.

Like a cocky chef who's confident in his skills, Khaled gave us some of the ingredients he's using to cook up Victory but was hush-hush when it came to what we can actually expect. The meal ain't ready yet — until then, he's gonna leave us starving.

"I worked with someone I never worked with before that I always wanted to work with," Khaled said coyly. "I won't tell you if it's one of my singles or one of the singles, 'cause I like that to be a surprise. But I did work with someone I always wanted to work with; his name is Usher. I did work with him, and I'm excited by that. I worked with someone [else] I never worked with before; his name is Drake. I'm a fan of his music. I think he's talented."

Of course, the Runners, Plies, Rick Ross and the rest of the Florida family are gonna be part of the album. Another big name that will be featured heavily on the project is Young Jeezy. Khaled said Mr. 17.5 will be a "major" part of Victory.

"I got everybody on there," Khaled boasted. "I'm giving you little vibes about what's going on. Jeezy is a major part of my album. We doing this, this album right here. I gave you 'We Takin' Over.' I gave you 'I'm So Hood.' I gave you 'Go Hard.' I gave you 'Holler at Me.' I do this. I make timeless music."

When it comes to putting his albums together, Khaled thinks of his collaborators like a team. He has his regulars — from Fat Joe to Ross — and on each album, he adds new players to the roster. Every artist Khaled reached out to this time put in some heavy work, going above and behind with their verses. That, in part, inspired the album title.

"People always think 'victory' is the win," Khaled explained. "To me, it's a struggle. It's a grind. It's a hustle, going through roadblocks. There's a lot of stuff [done] to get a victory. I feel like I'm at a point in my career right now where I'm at that victory point. Because I've been through so much, and I feel like the music I'm making is so powerful — because I make this music for the people."

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