All DJ Khaled does is win. Since dropping his debut album in 2006, the Miami native has diligently built a resumé that now includes the titles of A-list DJ, successful producer, and platinum artist. And that’s just on the music side. He’s also a budding executive who runs his own label (We the Best Music Group) and management company, and is president of Def Jam South. Being on top hasn’t made him complacent, though—he’s about to drop his fifth album and Cash Money debut, We the Best Forever, featuring Drake, Nicki Minaj, Cee Lo Green, and Ludacris. That's why we had to feature DJ Khaled for the Shotcaller Interview from our April/May issue (with Wiz Khalifa/Danny McBride and Kat Denning on the covers). Khaled took a break from eating Jamaican red snapper to talk about being an exec, why he didn’t sign with Def Jam, and his end goal in the music industry.
Interview by Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)
You were very successful as an independent artist. Why sign with Cash Money?
DJ Khaled: I’ve had conversations about being a Cash Money member ever since my first album. I look up to Birdman and Slim and what they’ve done with Cash Money. I look at them as a huge brand like myself. Like Birdman would say, 'We the fuckin’ business.' And they have the same mentality I have: 'Put that music out and let’s go.' I ain’t got to deal with no corporate bullshit.
As president, what do you do at Def Jam South?
Many people’s initial reaction to your new single, “Welcome To My Hood,” is that it’s the same song as a previous hit you had, “I’m So Hood.”
We the Best ForeverWe The Best
With so many anthems at this point, would you say you’ve figured out a formula
What’s your ultimate goal in building the “We the Best” brand?
CLICK NEXT PAGE TO SEE KHALED TALK ABOUT WE THE BEST FOREVER, RAPPING ON SONGS, AND IF HE'LL EVER LOSE.
So what’s the guest list for We The Best Forever looking like?
DJ Khaled: You’ve got the usual suspects like Rick Ross, Plies, T-Pain, Lil Wayne, and Birdman. Then I’m about to work on records with Jeezy, Keyshia Cole, and Chris Brown. I worked with Cee Lo Green, Ludacris, and Nas. I’m also going to have Drake and Nicki Minaj on the album as well. As far as producers, you’ve got The Runners, The Renegades, Nasty Beatmakers, Danja, Boi-1da, and Drumma Boy.
Do you have Rick Ross writing all your rhymes? Or do you have multiple people?
On all your singles, you always have all the superstars come on one song together. How do you get everyone to do that?
Has DJ Khaled ever taken a loss?