I was recently listening to the newest DJ Khaled hit “Top Off” with power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé, and it made me realize he would be such an interesting person to blog about. DJ Khaled is a name anyone who listens to media regularly recognizes. It feels like he has been around my whole adult life. In a way he has been because some of his hits from ten years ago are still played today. But there was a period of at least five years where it seemed like DJ Khaled was gone for good. This Business Insider article talks briefly about DJ Khaled’s fall from stardom. From 2007 to 2011, he was putting out catchy hits like “All I Do Is Win” and “I’m On One”. In this time period, he had four tracks go platinum. But what happened to him after? His career seemed to be slowly fading away. His October 2015 album, “I Changed a Lot” sold 19,000 copies in the first week. It was the lowest-selling album of his career. In comparison, DJ Khaled’s most recent album, Grateful, had 149,000 equivalent album units sold in its first week. DJ Khaled is clearly a talented producer who knows how to produce record hits, but his career may have never been revived if it wasn’t for the creation of an app you may be familiar with—Snapchat.
DJ Khaled has mastered the art of social media marketing on several platforms, but his best-know content comes from Snapchat. As someone who has always used Snapchat frequently, I remember DJ Khaled being the first celebrity to go wildly viral on Snapchat. But what makes him so likeable and worth a follow?
Most people my age know at least one of DJ Khaled’s famous phrases. “Bless up!” is a saying adopted by Khaled as a “reminder to [himself] and those around [him] that God is good.” He makes sure to remind people of the blessings of life with at least one “Bless up!” Snapchat a day no matter what he is doing.
His most viral saying is about the “keys”. For Khaled the keys could mean many things: the keys to success, the keys to happiness or just the keys to life.
His constant optimism and humility make him likeable and make his message effective. If this guy who has had many ups and downs can continue to bounce back and have this great outlook on life, then he must have some wisdom about the “keys” to life. Regardless of whether you watch his Snapchats for a laugh or for motivation, DJ Khaled bas mastered the art of building a personal brand and a strong fan base on Snapchat. The interesting part is that they were not following him for his music, but for his popularity as a person.
It seems like almost everything DJ Khaled said on Snapchat was catchy, but what made people even more obsessed with him was his ability to motivate people. His saying “Ride wit me through the journey of more success” took off on Snapchat. The first Snapchat I remember saying this was one where he was out riding his jet ski.
How could you not love this guy? He is living his best life, and instead of being obnoxiously flashy and distant from fans he is able to take fans on his personal journey to more success through Snapchat. Even if you aren’t truly motivated by Khaled’s Snapchats, it is still hard to argue against this friendly-to-all-ages, positive message to join him in living the best life possible. And if you think he is all talk about the journey to success, you’re wrong. He joined Weight Watchers to make one of the keys to his journey better health.
Another message he constantly repeats is to “Stay away from ‘They’” in life. Well who is “They”? In his new book, The Keys, Khaled gives a description only DJ Khaled could give: “YOU HEAR ME SAYING “STAY AWAY FROM ‘THEY’” ALL THE TIME, BUT WHO ARE “THEY”? I’LL TELL YOU: “THEY” ARE THE ENEMY. “THEY” WANT TO KEEP THE KEYS HIDDEN AND BLOCK YOU FROM THE PATHWAY OF MORE SUCCESS, AND “THEY” WANT TO SEE YOU TO FAIL…THE PERSON WHO WANTS TO DISTRACT YOU FROM YOUR STUDIES OR YOUR CAREER WITH THEIR DRAMA? THAT’S A “THEY.” THAT’S A BIG “THEY.” BUT HERE’S A MAJOR KEY: AS LONG AS YOU STAY AWAY FROM “THEY,” YOU WILL PROSPER.” Again, how can you not love his message? In this digital age, social media is often used to bash celebrities and discuss a lot of negative things going on (i.e. celebrity misbehavior). It does not matter if you laugh at and make fun of DJ Khaled (like people like this) because he has learned to block these type of people out. His motivating message of positivity and inclusivity have been a breath of fresh air since he has joined social media.
DJ Khaled is able to take his catchy phrases and motivational sayings and make them a part of people’s lifestyle. By having this effect on people, DJ Khaled was able to gain six million followers in his first four months on Snapchat. He now gets three to four million views for each of his Snapchats. DJ Khaled does not stop there though. As a smart businessman, he has been able to turn this social media success into more business opportunities. In 2016, he became the face of the new mango flavor of the popular alcohol, Cîroc.
That same year, DJ Khaled released his book, The Keys, and it became a New York Times Bestseller.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter even paid Khaled to promote their product.
His relationship with his son
The newest reason to love Khaled is he is social media’s favorite dad. Asahd Khaled was born in October 2016, and the social media world has been obsessed with him and their father-son relationship ever since. Khaled created an Instagram for his son. He posts and comments from it pretending as if Asahd is the one doing so. Obviously he is not, but people find it hilarious, and it makes people love him even more. Asahd’s growing follower count is now at 1.8 million. DJ Khaled and his bank account are both happy about this.
All of this has led to DJ Khaled’s success as a businessman and helped revive his music career. His most recent album, Grateful, went platinum. I mentioned some of his business partnerships, and the list goes on for Khaled. He has partnered with a variety of businesses, including Champs Sports, Zappos, TurboTax and Beats. He has had 6 platinum singles since 2016, with each of those songs, like “For Free” with Drake and “I’m the One” with Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne, being massive hits including world-famous artists. His dominance of social media is clear, as his Snapchat is still very popular and his Instagram and Twitter have a combined 13.7 million followers. This popularity helped make him a more attractive producer to work with. Once he began working with these artists and showed he could help produce a catchy track, his career took off once again. In my opinion, it is impossible to not be a fan of him and his message. Here is to hoping DJ Khaled stays on the journey to more success so we can see more great Snapchats like the ones in this video compilation.