Khaled Mohamed Khaled, who we know as DJ Khaled, is a record producer and DJ who’s known for orchestrating some of the biggest anthems of the past decade and more than 100 collaborations with hip hop’s top talent.
DJ Khaled’s story of coming to public eminence is the one of pure determination. Born to Palestinian parents who came to the US with $20, Khaled kept his dream alive and hustled his way up from DJing at school dances in Orlando, to the Miami music scene, and subsequently becoming a household name.
Even though all Khaled has done is “win, win, win no matter what!” for the past 10 years, in 2016 his name became ubiquitous.
In late 2015 Khaled went on Snapchat and started laying down social media curriculum for many Snapchatters in training.
Khaled’s daily sermons, public pop-ups and even his mundane activities infused with a braggart’s enthusiasm became portable motivation. His catch phrases - “Ah-nutha one,” “Stay away from they,” and “They don’t want you to…” have become lingua franca. Proclamations like, “I like that,” “I got the keys” and “We the best!” made DJ Khaled in to a human meme living in every cell phone in America.
Khaled’s social media celebrity has outpaced his music fame. Besides his aphorisms, Khaled’s I don’t know to laugh-at or laugh-with renewable content and rescuing the key emoji from a complete ambiguity, Khaled ‘s influence on American society is palpable.
The key question is, what kind of influence?
In early 2016 I was dining out in Boca Raton, Florida. My college freshman server gushed over Khaled. “He’s sooo inspirational!”
Khaled says he spreads love, peace and unity. I think he spreads a lot more than that.
There is one thing Khaled has not grasped. Fame is not a privilege alone. Fame is a privilege of responsibility.
Khaled went from a barker to fame. I don’t wish to downplay his journey, his music accomplishments, or his Snapchat success. Self promotion is vital in business and in life; even more in music and entertainment. It’s a skill that very few master. I give credit where it’s due.
You da best, Khaled!
What Khaled is saying may be inspiring, but his concept of greatness is dangerous. Dangerous, because he is unpolished, crass, and has fans from young to old.
When you’ve reach Khaled’s degree of fame, your actions, thoughts and words are scrutinized, accepted, then modeled.
The famous often set the new societal standards.
In Khaled’s case, a cultural shift is definitely happening. But it’s not just his catch phrases that are being repeated. It’s also his uncouth persona.
Khaled says he spreads love and peace. Fans find his Snap stories positive, motivating and hilarious. But fans also admire his oafishness. DJ Khaled has made it cool to be ignorant and uncivilized.
Fame does not come with a rulebook. If there is a fame rulebook, it’s a safe bet Khaled hasn’t read it. The rulebook would inform Khaled that both his positivity and his crassness get adopted in to the culture.
The best example of Khaled’s crassness is the birth of his son. Khaled documented the whole thing on Snapchat. With his song “I Got The Keys” blasting from his phone, Khaled talked to his Snapchat audience while his fiancée lay in lithotomy position with legs up, giving birth to a human being.
Khaled says he never runs out of keys. Here are a couple of major keys he is missing in order to walk on the pathway of real success.
#1: Giving birth is one of the most significant and deeply emotional experiences in a woman’s life. It should be honored and given privacy. There is no dignity in displaying the most intimate details of a woman, at her most vulnerable state, to the public.
Khaled’s definition of dignity may be different from mine.
Self promoting through tending to your followers’ voyeuristic propensities may be OK, but putting your woman on Snapchat while she is giving birth is not OK.
On the Wendy Williams show, Khaled announced he would be Snapchatting his son’s birth so he can “Let the young icon have his look”.
Khaled’s goal is attention and self promotion, which is great for business. Getting attention at the expense of your woman’s private life is not a key to success!
Value honoring and respecting your woman over self promotion. Major!
#2: I’m the King. The Queen should support the King - Khaled answered, when asked if his fiancée was ok with him exploiting his child’s birth by documenting it on Snapchat.
Where do I begin?!
We no longer live in a patriarchy in America, Khaled. If you still do, let me say this: a King who doesn’t put his Queen first is no King. This may be a foreign concept to you, but I hope only temporarily.
No King puts self interest before his Queen’s; that is what makes him a King.
Yes, Khaled is inspirational and funny. Yes, he means no harm. Yes, he promotes love, peace and unity. But he promotes ignorance along with it.
Khaled’s uncivilized persona is becoming a new standard for our generation. People repeat what he says, model what he does, and aspire to who he is.
DJ Khaled’s next venture to capitalize on his fame is a book (The Keys) coming in November 2016. The first chapter of it is written in all CAPs.
I hope, through the process of writing this book (or having it written for him), Khaled learned how to say “jewelry” (jurly) and “accurate“ (accreate).
It’s all good, Khaled.
We still have love for you. But it’s not enough to be meme-able. Your fame carries responsibility. With fame, you’re creating new standards of who to be and how to be for your fans.
The Key To Success is not coco butter, it's self-education.
Don’t ever play yourself!