DJ Khaled is used to getting it done at all costs. “It” being everything: marketing, promoting, A&R, producing, managing, cutting checks, DJing, supervising albums and, on this night, being a tour guide.
“Welcome to We the Best Studios, the house of hits — the house of vibes,” Khaled said, welcoming us to Miami. Since Khaled does it all, he wants to do it easier — he’s combined his record-label office with a studio and hangout for his homies. On this night, though, Khaled’s lair was also a video set for his signee Ace Hood, who was shooting the clip for “Overtime,” featuring T-Pain and Akon.
“It’s a little crazy in here, but come on, check it out,” Khaled said. “I’m gonna give you, like, a quick tour … of course we got some of our wins on the wall,” he said, pointing to the plaques and awards.
“Right here — XXL cover. With me, [Rick] Ross, Flo [Rida] and Trina … That was big for Florida. Shout-out to all the DJs … I gotta show you some DJ plaques. Mix Show DJ of the Year, from the Sixth Annual Puerto Rico Power Summit. I got a few of these. I won five in a row. Of course, you got other wins up in here too. Shout-out to Funk Master Flex — he’s definitely one of the guys that inspired me to make albums too. He’s got that gold plaque right there.”
Besides Ace Hood’s Ruthless, which drops this summer, Khaled is working on his fourth album, Victory, which is due later this year. But before he looks to the future, the New Orleans-born hip-hop don basks in the success of his biggest LP, We the Best.
“Of course, this is big for me right here,” he said, pointing to the plaque. ” ‘We Taking Over’ — you know what I’m saying. It went gold. That was a big accomplishment for me; my life changed after that record dropped. And shout-out to everybody on the record — you feel me. I can go on for days with plaques. … Now this record right here, ‘I’m So Hood,’ a million and 500 thousand singles sold … a million ringtones. It’s a movie. It’s a big, big accomplishment for me.”
Khaled’s complex is almost done — but the one spot he’s looking most forward to completing is his “Boom Boom Room.”
“This is the room where we take breaks at,” he explained. “Ace Hood up in here. Ace Hood got caught in that boom boom room. He’s getting ready for his video shoot. This is [where we] like to lounge, watch a little TV.”
Khaled was recently humbled by rap giant Jay-Z, when Hov shouted Khaled on the song “D.O.A.” The mouthy DJ says he was stunned and left speechless by Jay’s co-sign.
“To get a co-sign from a legend like that is big. He said my name, he said, ‘We the best!’ It brought a tear to my eye,” Khaled said.