DJ Khaled shares how Jamaica and dancehall played a major part of his story.
Over the years, DJ Khaled’s unique touch on music has created a fan frenzy. From his most popular taglines like “We the Best” to “Another one!” it seems like almost everything he does goes viral. He’s now well respected in the hip-hop genre, but in a recent interview with the Recording Academy, he shared how much of a major influence dancehall and Jamaican culture have been in his life and career.
DJ Khaled expressed the sentiment while being interviewed for an episode of the Up Close & Personal podcast. He revealed that both dancehall and Jamaica have played an elemental role in his appreciation of music.
“Dancehall is a part of my story, you know what I’m saying, Jamaica is a part of Khaled’s story and it’s such a blessing. I love reggae music and I love dancehall,” he added.
It’s not just something that Khaled randomly decided to follow either, as dancehall music was a big part of his youth, he revealed. The “I’m the One” singer also shared that he was enthusiastically supported by the Jamaican dancehall community in the early days of his career. He also recalled doing shows regularly in Kingston.
“I grew up listening to dancehall, playing dancehall music with hip hop. As a young kid, I used to be in Jamaica, I use to basically live in Miami and Jamaica. I sound clashed, I’ve deejayed in Kingston throughout the whole beginning of my career,” he added.
As he continued to get deeper into dancehall and reggae, his appreciation for music expanded, and this translated into a successful career in production. He never had any intentions of forgetting the island that gave him his foundation, and so he felt it was only right that he featured dancehall on his latest album Khaled Khaled.
Khaled also recalled the years when his name started to get more popular as he became a sought-after deejay in both Miami and the Caribbean because of his special dubplates. He was also one of the deejays who was known for playing hip hop and reggae as well.
This is one of the reasons that he showed some love to Jamaica in his latest offering.
“And all those artistes you saw on my album on that song, my friends that cosigned me in the beginning of my career. They use to give me dubplates and they put their hands around my shoulder saying we love this kid and I never forget where I come from,” he explained.
The love and appreciation that he has for the genre was shown in the track “Where We Come,” which he admitted is one that he especially loves from the album. His desire was to bring together some of the veterans of dancehall on one track, which he accomplished.
“That record, Buju, Capleton, and Bounty have never been on a record together and those are all big huge reggae Jamaican worldwide icons and that record is one of my favourite records,” he continued.
The video for that track was a genuine and raw cut as Khaled revealed that all the artists came together in St Ann and just started filming. The video has been extremely well received as it has brought in over 13 million views since its debut on May 1, 2021.
DJ Khaled also revealed that he was excited to be working on Bounty Killer’s upcoming album King Of Kingston.
His motivation behind Khaled Khaled was to produce something that fans would love and respect. He also said he used his real name as an ode to artists like Jay-Z, whose music evolved when he started using his real name, Sean Carter.
The producer added that it was important for him to bring together Jay-Z and Nas on the track “Sorry Not Sorry” to inspire people to come together to work for success. Check out what Khaled had to say below.