DJ Khaled: 'Khaled Khaled in Arabic means immortal, and that's what I represent'
15 May 2021
DJ Khaled joins Ebro Darden on Apple Music 1 in Miami for an extensive conversation about his star-studded 12th studio album ‘KHALED KHALED’.
He tells Ebro about the decision behind releasing the Drake tracks early, kicking off the album with Lil Wayne and Jeremih, titling the album after his birth name, working with Beyoncé, future ambitions, and securing additional collabs with Nas, Jay-Z, H.E.R., Migos, Bryson Tiller, Lil Baby, Roddy Ricch, and more.
DJ Khaled Tells Apple Music About Titling His Album ‘KHALED KHALED’... It's very personal. First of all, Khaled Khaled in Arabic means immortal, it means forever, eternal. And that's what I represent, forever love, forever light, forever blessings, we forever. And I always said, when I made my first album, listen, I said, "I'm going to make a album called Khaled Khaled, but it's going to be a special time." And I thought I was going to make it on my 10th album, I thought I was going to make it on my 11th album. My 11th album was called Father of Asahd and that meant so much to me. I named it Father of Asahd, that's powerful. And I said it's time for 'Khaled Khaled'. I got two boys, and it's time for the new chapter of Khaled. You're going to see me evolve, which I've been doing all my life, thank God. But this is going to be another level that you've never seen, and y'all seeing it.
DJ Khaled Tells Apple Music About Putting Out Tracks With Drake During the Pandemic... So to get two Drakes, and we put them out through the pandemic. And you can ask Drake, I was like, ‘Yo Drake, we got to come with this now because the world is dark. And I know everybody's scared to drop music. But no, we have to be the f**** light. We got to be the light. And now we're going to be stuck in this dark. We're leaders. You're a big boy. I'm a big boy. We're leaders. Let's put the sun out.’
DJ Khaled Tells Apple Music About There Almost Being a Third Drake Track on the Album... Speaking of Drake, it was almost a third key on here. The Allen key, two keys, and each key leads to the next key. So it was going to be another key, another Drake on the album too. It was about to be three Drakes. What it means is Drake is my brother, and he will give me three keys with no problem.
DJ Khaled Tells Apple Music About The Beyoncé Vocals On “SORRY NOT SORRY”... While I got the vocals, we get another call from Guru and Jay saying the queen and Beyhive is asking for the instrumental. So I was already running around with the Nas and Jay, so now I'm running like this. I'm burning a hole in my grass now, the s*** is... Like I'm losing my mind. To pull off a record with Nas and Jay, and shout out to James because he blessed that amazing, and shout to Casey. Just to get the, ‘Hey,’ is unbelievable. Because it's unbelievable, it's the Queen, it's Beyonce. And then close it out with the hive? I literally had tears in my eyes.
DJ Khaled Tells Apple Music About Reaching Out To Get H.E.R. on the Album Just Before She Performed at the Super Bowl… So I reached out this time like, ‘Yo, I would love to work with you.’ And she was like, ‘Absolutely. I would love to work with you too.’ I actually talked to her right before she performed at the Super Bowl. I was calling her. I didn't even know she was performing the Super Bowl. I'm FaceTiming like ‘Yo, we got to get it in.’ And I hung up and then boom, she was on TV. I'm like, ‘Oh, sh**.’”
DJ Khaled Tells Apple Music About Having Cardi B on “BIG PAPER”… You know I work with a lot of artists. I know when somebody gets it, and I know when somebody is hungry. Meaning when I say hungry, they love this s**, and they are going to keep being great and putting out potent s***. That's what she did, and that's what she's been doing. And I want to give her flowers because of her debut album, I have to be honest, because I'm always honest with myself. It inspired me because what she did was she made a whole album of hits. And that's how I make my albums, it's with hits.
DJ Khaled Tells Apple Music About JAY-Z and Puff Daddy Going By Their Birth Names... You was calling him Hov, Jay-Z, then at one point in your life, you started calling him Shawn Carter. So when you started calling him Shawn Carter, he started getting closer to them Bs. And I'm not talking about bees, I'm talking about billions. You should call Puff Daddy, Puff Daddy, Diddy. But at one point in his career, you called him Sean Combs. And now you call him love. That's what I'm saying, right now I'm giving you my birth name that my mother and father, that God blessed me with. And I'm Khaled Khaled.”
DJ Khaled Tells Apple Music About The Album’s Artwork... That image, I seen that image probably when I was like between 17 and 19 years old, I seen that image. I said, ‘One day I'm going to have a beautiful family and I'm going to be with my boys. And there's going to be a time in my life where if you don't know who Khaled Khaled is, you going to know off this image.’ And that's me praying to Allah, and my two boys beside me. It's so beautiful, man. It's like, I think that should tell you who Khaled Khaled is.