Back in several ancient civilizations, there existed the common belief in a pantheon of deities. Mythical, larger than life Gods and Goddesses who taught lessons through their powerful, timeless stories and led examples of how the common peasants should lead their lives. Of course in 2016, most of us know better than to believe in men who shoot lightning from the sky or women with snake hair that’ll turn you into stone, but who do we have to look toward now for divine wisdom? Well if you can afford an Internet connection (I mean how else would you be reading this? Cuneiform?), look no further than the transcendent demigod that is “DJ” Khaled bin Abdul Khaled.
Khaled has been relatively well known as a multimillionaire hip hop mogul in Miami for years. He’s put out countless collaborations with other rappers, producers, and record labels. But there’s more to Khaled than the music. His songs are decent, but his social media presence and interviews are where the real performance art is. As he’s said time and time again in interviews and in the title of his latest album, “I’ve changed… …a lot”. You don’t have to ask how he’s changed, a lot, no. No longer is he merely an egotistical music producer, but an egotistical musical producer who is also restaurant proprietor, gardener, philosopher, thespian, businessman, and all-around motivational Renaissance Man. Recently he’s taken to using Snapchat (@djkhaled305) and Instagram (@djkhaled) to broadcast motivational so-called “keys to success” so you too can follow in his footsteps. From watering plants to getting stranded off the coast of Florida in the dead of night to whatever this is , millions of followers have gathered to ride with Khaled and be enlightened by each step in his journey to more success.
And it’s been a successful journey indeed. Khaled has earned numerous guest spots for shows like Jimmy Kimmel and The Daily Show, and the man’s so notorious on Snapchat that he even got invited to tour their headquarters! So how can you be inspired and apply Khaled’s own keys to success to your life, high school career, college career, or career career? In honor of the New Year, I decided to analyze some snippets of Khaled’s life lessons, and reflect on how they could be applicable to the lives of lowly peasants like us. So put on some headphones, let We The Best sound take control, and read on to understand the most major of Khaled’s major keys to success:
1. “Learning’s cool, but knowing is better.”
Initially, this Khaled quote sounds like a piece of vague pseudo-intellectual Jaden Smith-esque word salad. Just as we can deduce that mirrors and eyes are real and that most trees aren’t blue (contrary to some of Jaden’s Tweets), we can infer that knowing and learning are abstract concepts synonymous to one another (contrary to some of Khaled’s Snapchats and that aforementioned Daily Show cameo). Khaled even acknowledged “that’s kinda weird” on The Daily Show, and also elaborated “you have to learn to know”, truly stunning pieces of insight right there.
But IS knowing better than learning? After all, before you can learn how to know, don’t you have to know how to learn? Wrap your head around that for a moment. Drink it all in. Swallow down an Ibuprofen or two with that drink to stave off any inevitable migraines from trying to process that. But no matter how convoluted or contradictory or headache inducing Khaled’s philosophy sounds, doesn’t the guy have a point? Isn’t it better to know the skills needed for your upcoming test/application/job/whatever as opposed to learning from your humiliating mistakes? In his words Khaled wants all of us to “just know”, and the next 60 seconds, the next 60 minutes, the next 24 hours, the next 30 days, the next 12 months, and the next few years all allot us plenty of time to learn how to know. And once you learn, then you can enjoy the spoils of just knowing.
Maybe not multimillionaire hip hop mogul level spoils, but you get the idea. Hard work can pay off, but it’s best to have some knowledge of what you’re putting into that work. And libraries, the Internet, and DJ Khaled’s Snapchat are all cheap hubs for knowledge. Even your boring damn floor can become the ultimate all-in-one gym if you learn how to know dozens of equipment free workouts. Here’s a hundred if you want to get started. And honestly, what’s stopping you? As another sage motivator once shouted into the ether, “What are you waiting for? (aside from the migraines to go away…) JUST DO IT!”
2. “They will try to close the door on you. Just open it.”
Two recurring motifs in DJ Khaled’s vast Snapchat mythology are that of “They” and “doors”. The Reddit forum /r/wethebest is rife with speculation toward the identity of “They”. Could “They” be Khaled’s estranged fiancee, Nicole Turk? The Coast Guard pulling Khaled over on his jet ski? Reptilian Illuminati assassins out to get him, the REAL reason Khaled’s spent the last few weeks driving all over the country in his tour bus?
I don’t intern for David Icke or Alex Jones’ sites so I could honestly care less about who “They” are, but whoever “They” are, Khaled’s made a few things abundantly clear in his Snapchats and Complex Magazine interviews. They don’t want you to win. They don’t want you to exercise. They don’t want you to be uncomfortably crammed into DJ Khaled’s jacuzzi. They don’t want you to do a lot of things, but as Khaled demonstrates in his vintage mansion elevator in a few Snapchats, the one thing They want to do is try to close the door on you and hold you back. But you know what you can do with an elevator door after it closes? Just open it. Because you can, even if you don’t have an infinite surplus of personal elevators and Screw-You Money.
You could spend your 60 seconds and 60 minutes and 24 hours or 12 months or the rest of your life lamenting your circumstances or schoolwork or debts or student loans, or you could spend them doing whatever YOU want. That’s much easier said than done, sure. A lot of things can get in the way of what you want in life. Diet, disease, school, jobs, physical health problems, mental health problems, sometimes life just feels like one huge juggling act of problems. So how can we open the doors like Khaled’s described in his elevator?
If there’s an obstacle disrupting your life like a doorway, don’t just open it aside. Do as Khaled said in his motivational video sponsored by Music Choice: rip the doors off, take the hinges off, and when you take the hinges off, put the hinges in the ****boy’s hands. It takes time and it won’t happen overnight, but no matter how big that anxiety or neurosis inside you might seem, there’s always support in the meantime. Talk to people, pick up a new hobby, use apps like Pacifica or What’s Up to chill out a bit, but whatever you do, with the little free time you may have in your work week, keep watching DJ Khaled videos. They want you to be miserable and afraid, but the longer you work for it, the more you can put the hinges on the hands too.
I don’t really know where to start with this one. This key to success came from a fateful series of Snapchat stories on December 14th. D.J. Khaled’s story turned from self-promotion and weird routines to Blair Witch-style found footage horror when he was stranded at sea on his jet ski at night. But instead of succumbing to the terrifying pitch black waters, he decided to film his entire harrowing trip back home and narrate it with his usual meme-y mannerisms and Emoji-filled captions along the way.
“The key is not to drive your jet ski in the dark, this is against the law, and not only that, this ain’t even right.” Among DJ Khaled’s wise words, these might be the wisest. Not being arrested by local law enforcement, postponing your inevitable death, and calling Zay Ze sure are pretty major keys to success, and I’m pretty sure that’s pretty common knowledge. Hopefully.
Not dying is a pretty major key to success, but this other Khaled key might just be the most honest key. It’s easy to talk about being successful when you’re a multimillionaire hip hop mogul with an elevator in your mansion. It’s a whole other thing to actually face those struggles with success. Khaled doesn’t have much of them anymore, considering he’s, well, a multimillionaire hip hop mogul with an elevator in his mansion, but he still acknowledges that being successful isn’t always as easy or black-and-white an issue as it seems. They never said winning was easy after all.
While life can be what you make of it to a certain extent, sometimes the entropy of the universe prevents you from nailing that good outcome. There’s no definite guarantee that you’ll ace the test if you study for hours, or win the big game if you practice for hours, or memorize all the note sheets and lines to your musical, especially if that musical is a rock opera of Jimi Hendrix EPs. Sometimes we can’t “just know” like Khaled loves preaching about. The world, and on a more microcosmic level, high school and college, can be pretty unforgiving. I don’t owe a faceless reader like you anything, you don’t owe a rambling idiot like me pontificating about some guy’s Snapchat anything, life doesn’t owe any of us any favors. It could if you’re a multimillionaire hip hop mogul with your own personal chef and an elevator in your mansion, but that’s beside the point. Embrace your flaws. Acknowledge them. Laugh at them. Even if you fail miserably, it’s better to know you failed miserably trying and didn’t play yourself.
“Another one” is another one of DJ Khaled’s major catchphrases, and quite possibly the most popular of the DJ Khaled lexicon. It’s so big he has an entire clothing line devoted to it on wethebeststore.com, and it’s become one of the few things he’s known for yelling in his songs (outside of his own name). I couldn’t really find a proper definition of what he’s exactly referring to with “another one”, but who knows? Who cares? There’s a whole ton of another one’s and quotes and Khaled keys I didn’t discuss here. Really, it’d be impossible to encompass all of Khaled’s lines into one article.
And sure, calling DJ Khaled a demigod is stretching things: the guy’s overconfidence is pretty hilarious, and it’s hard to tell how much of his persona is really him or just really delusional hubris or just really elaborate satire, but there’s something kind of inspiring about how the dude just has no shame whatsoever. I wish more people were like Khaled and stopped caring about the negatives in life. I wish I could do that more often. I hope I inspired you to seek out the rest of DJ Khaled’s vast compendium of wisdom, and look up, rise up, and most of all, bless up.