Sunday Reads: The Success Behind Modern Mogul DJ Khaled’s Keys to Success

DJ Khaled by Michael Raveney

Khaled Mohamed Khaled, better known by the moniker DJ Khaled, is celebrating the start of his 40s by giving back to the world through exceedingly quirky, and surprisingly domestic, protips. The Miami-based hip-hop artist, DJ and producer’s preferred platform for doing so is on the millennial-focused app Snapchat, where more than two million people watch him tackle life’s toughest challenges in real-time.

His influence goes beyond the border of any specific music genre. In fact, it’s so pervasive that The New York Times dubbed Khaled’s online presence as “social media core curriculum.” And in January, Madonna invited him on stage during the final stop of her Rebel Heart tour at American Airlines Arena in Miami to accept his lavish gifts (diamond bracelet, stacks of cash, necklaces) as she sang Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend a capella. It doesn’t get any more mainstream.

Khaled’s “keys to success” (snaps he labels with the key emoji) provide advice for living the best life possible. The 10-second videos portray a genuine longing to help followers “win, win, win”— as he asserts in his anthem “All I Do Is Win” (2010) with friends and collaborators Ludacris, Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg, and T-Pain.

Keys to success include: making time for weekly massages with bamboo and sounds of the ocean; conquering personal hygiene with “the right soap” and cocoa butter—never cologne; naming your plants to help them grow; and worshiping your accessories (sneakers and watches).

In Khaled’s idiosyncratic Snapchat stories, which automatically disappear from the app after 24 hours, he narrates many of the most personal parts of his day, and shower time is not off limits. His self-confidence sets the foundation for what has become an unexpected persona of pop culture’s charismatic self-help guru.

“When Snapchat got connected it felt like it was the missing piece of the connection. It’s all connected and now the whole world is watching. So now instead of one piece of the world loving talent, it’s everybody at the same time and they’re inspired and they’re uplifted and that’s positive energy,” he says.

In January, the hit-maker who has eight albums under his belt, took the keys to the city for DJ Khaled Day (Jan. 20) and a $3.8 million mansion in Miami. His new pad came equipped with an elevator and he has plans to build a special display for his sneakers in a gallery-type setting.

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