One of the most popular hip hop artists around today is DJ Khaled, who has risen to fame and is currently enjoying a ton of success. The famed producer, social media personality, and music executive got his start in the business working at urban radio stations. He then moved on to producing records and working as a DJ, where he proved himself to be an immense talent.
Not only is DJ Khaled great at what he does, he really knows how to market his image. Take a look at any of his social media accounts and you’ll instantly see why he has millions upon millions of followers. His huge personality, lighthearted take on everything, and charisma is part of what has made him one of the biggest names in music. Here are 20 things that you probably didn’t know about DJ Khaled.
1. He eats egg whites everyday, and has a personal chef, Chef Dee. One of his favorite dishes that she cooks is egg rolls, and he’s often posted pictures of the chef’s creations on his Instagram account. Beyond that, Khaled has varied tastes in cuisine — and he has a particular weak spot for soul food — but he doesn’t typically bother cooking in the kitchen himself.
2. DJ Khaled has had plenty of hits, but his favorite album is Buju Banton’s ‘Til Shiloh. Khaled has listened to reggae and dancehall music for most of his life, and it’s one of his all-time favorite genres. When he’s listening to music for pleasure it’s highly likely that Jamaican music can be found on his playlist, especially songs from Buju Banton.
3. His sneaker collection is well known, and he literally owns thousands of pairs. His favorites are the Jordan 3, which makes since as one of his favorite athletes of all time is Michael Jordan. Of course, like he does with so many things in his life, Khaled often posts about the kicks that he’s wearing on his social media accounts. Demand to see his sneaker collection got so big that he finally relented and let the website Complex take a look inside.
Most people have closets for their entire wardrobe, but DJ Khaled has a full sneaker closet that’s floor to ceiling, filled with exclusive sneakers, and larger than some people’s bedrooms. Not only does he have a custom closet that houses and displays his sneaks, Khaled has a specially built trunk that holds his most prized selections.
4. The celebrity that Khaled wishes he could have met is Bob Marley — Khaled is a huge fan of reggae music and culture. However, he is friends with the Marley family, has visited their homes, and has performed as a DJ at their events. Two music icons that Khaled did get to meet before they passed include Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.
The Birdman connection
5. He was on site when Birdman first met Lil’ Wayne. Khaled was working one of his first jobs ever at a New Orleans record store called Odyssey Records, way back in 1993 when people still poured into stores to buy cassettes and vinyl. One day the store hosted an autograph signing with the founders of Cash Money Records, brothers Slim and Brian “Birdman” Williams, when up walked a 10 year old Lil’ Wayne.
Wayne freestyled for the duo, they were impressed, Khaled looked on, and the rest is hip hop history. Things may not be copacetic between Lil’ Wayne and Birdman these days, but it’s incredible how each of these stars met well before they were all insanely famous.
6. DJ Khaled was a member of the Terror Squad, which was headed by another pair of hip hop brothers, Fat Joe and Big Pun. The two were big inspirations for Khaled, and he considers each to be on his list of all-time favorite music artists. Khaled’s first album in 2006 was released as part of the Terror Squad, and back then he called himself Terror Squadian. Khaled joined the team after Big Pun had passed away, but he gained a ton of invaluable insight during his time with the crew that helped him later on in his career.
7. DJ Khaled wasn’t always “DJ Khaled”. He’s had a number of different nicknames throughout his career. In addition to Beat Novacane, The Don Dada, Big Dog Pitbull, Mr. Miami, and Terror Squadian, he used to go by the name Arab Attack. All of his monikers were created in jest, but the latter was the one that stood out most after 9/11 — for the sake of avoiding unnecessary controversy and drama, he changed his name soon after the historic event.
8. He used to be a producer before becoming a DJ. He never completely left the studio, and he’s worked with a long list of artists and has produced many hits. DJ Khaled is most known for mixing and mastering instead of rapping on tracks.
9. His Rolls Royce has a starry facade on its roof, and he’s referred to his car with stars in many interviews. It’s not uncommon for hip hop celerities to own custom Rolls Royces, but it’s interesting that Khaled chose to put a starry roof on his ride rather than some ostentatious display. For him, it’s not just about decorating the car but how it symbolizes his career.
His big break
10. DJ Khaled’s first big break in the industry was co-hosting Uncle Luke’s radio show, The Luke Show, in 1998. It was the second radio gig that he’d ever had, and he joined hip hop veteran Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell in a show that was essentially a predecessor to modern day urban favorites, such as The Breakfast Club.
Khaled did a good job of establishing himself as a radio personality, which eventually opened up other avenues for him in the music industry. In 2003, Khaled went on to host a weeknight radio program on WEDR, which he did for many years.
11. Khaled has enough talent that he’s faced other hip hop industry artists in friendly competitions. In 2000 he won a DJ battle in Jamaica — at an event that was called Fully Loaded — against Wyclef Jean, an artist who’s well regarded for his musical expertise. The contest was all in the fun, and the two men are on good terms. Those in attendance got some grade-A entertainment, and the event is still talked about in hip hop circles today.
12. A few years ago, DJ Khaled pulled a media stunt where he proposed to fellow hip hop artist Nicki Minaj to promote his single I Wanna Be With You. Speculation went wild about whether it was real, and rumors started to come out of nowhere about the two being in a serious hidden relationship for years. However, none of it was legit. Yes, the ring that he used to propose to Nicki cost half a million dollars, but they’ve never been in a relationship and it was a joke.
The world may have been fooled by his proposal to Nicki Minaj, but she wasn’t. She thought the whole stunt was hilarious, and when all was said and done she felt it was exactly the kind of thing Khaled would do: incredibly goofy and random. Khaled and Nicki have been good friends for years and they’re still close.
His favorite song
13. DJ Khaled has wide music tastes, but many are surprised to find out what his favorite song ever is. It’s not a hip hop or rap classic, as might be expected, but a soul hit: Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing. Being that Khaled grew up in the early 80s, it’s easy to see how this song — that was hugely popular then and now — came to be his favorite.
14. DJ Khaled grew up and was born in Louisiana, but he’s also closely tied to Miami because of the amount of time that’s he’s spent there. He worked in Miami, has performed too many times to count there, and he’s owned property in the famous city. Khaled often reps Miami, though he also makes no bones about the love he has for his hometown.
15. For many years, Khaled has dated fellow Palestinian-American Nicole Tuck. She’s been very quiet and behind the scenes during their relationship, and many of Khaled’s fans didn’t even know he was dating anyone. However, the two got engaged and then the world came to know of their relationship when Nicole was revealed to be expecting their first child.
Nicole appeared with DJ Khaled at a red carpet event before an awards show, and he was seen doting on her publicly. The baby, a boy, will make his debut in the fall of 2016, and it will be the first child for each of them.
DJ Khaled’s Net Worth
16. DJ Khaled’s net worth hovers around $30 million, but not all of his fortune came from being in the music industry. He’s also a restaurateur and is the owner of a Miami restaurant called Finga Licking. The eatery is a casual, well appointed spot that serves American comfort food, particularly that from the South.
Customer favorites at the restaurant include the red velvet cake and fried chicken wings. Grilled steak, shrimp croissants, which pay homage to the city where the DJ is from, and fried lobster are also on the menu. The offerings there definitely reflect Khaled’s tastes in food. So far, the DJ’s foray into the restaurant business has gone well and Finga Lickin is a success.
Major Key Alert: Snapchat
17. DJ Khaled has posted all manner of exploits on Snapchat, and he’s one of the most active and well followed celebrities currently active on the social media platform. If you go to his page — his name on Snapchat is djkhaled305 — you’ll see a swarm of funny posts. You’ll catch a bit of him traveling, in the studio, joking around, and hyping up his talent.
However, on one occasion, he recorded something entirely different than he usually does on the site when he became lost at sea. While he was out jet skiing, things went wrong and it was broadcast online for all to see. Khaled was alone at night on the water, and he was definitely scared by the experience, but he managed to stay calm.
Funnily enough, the incident started when he drove the jet ski to the Miami home of his friend, rapper Rick Ross. After the two hung out, Khaled headed back home when it was getting dark, which is how he got lost — jet skis don’t have lights.
18. One key to DJ Khaled’s success is his belief in staying focused on goals. He’s always been ambitious, but keeping his eyes on the prize is why you don’t see him taking steps backward, living a reckless lifestyle, or getting into legal trouble.
The other secret to his success is that he prefers to stay positive and won’t allow himself to wallow in negativity. He’s said in interviews that he thinks harboring negative emotions blocks fulfillment in all areas of life, and he thinks it’s a major waste of time.
Social media rise
19. His popularity on social media has lead to many young fans calling DJ Khaled an internet phenomenon, even though he’s been in the music business for decades and truly achieved fame on the radio. Still, his antics online are epic, hilarious, and are behind why DJ Khaled is often referred to as a living meme. He rarely takes himself seriously and has released videos that have attracted attention from millions around the world.
It’s all Khaled
20. Khaled is his first and last name. The musician was born Khaled Mohamed Khaled on November 26, 1975 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Both of his parents were Palestinian immigrants and musicians. Growing up, Khaled heard Arabic music and the sounds of his community, which got him interested in the rap and soul genres. Being heavily into music themselves, Khaled’s parents have always supported his endeavors and dreams of becoming a music industry pro.