Every generation has its philosophers that help them make sense of this crazy thing we call “Mi Vida Loca.” The Ancient Greeks had not one, but three deep thinkers (Socrates, Plato and Aristotle). The 19th Century had Nietzsche, Marx and a bunch of other guys with hipster facial hair, miserable outlooks, and names we can’t spell. The Baby Boomers looked up to JFK and MLK for guidance, while Gen-X lived by Yoda’s dyslexic wisdom. In the digital age of today, we have DJ Khaled. Like the Reverend Run (of Run DMC fame) before him, DJ Khaled is a well-established hip-hop artist, who is now more known for his online persona than any of his radio hits. His main pulpit is SnapChat (@djkhaled305) where he posts pictures and videos featuring him in the shower, watering his plants at his Miami mansion and inviting viewers to “walk with me on the pathway to more success” as he literally films his moving feet (watch out for that end table Khaled!). Like a proud sherpa, Khaled ascended the peaks of success with hard work, dedication, and a hilarious and amazing clip (that went insanely viral) wherein he got lost at sea on a jet ski.
Much like the songs he’s produced for the likes of Drake, Fat Joe and Rick Ross, DJ Khaled is in your ear, chanting chest-puffing catch phrases that stick with you long after the track is over. Think of him as a social media hype man. A motivational speaker with WWE range. An urban love child of Tony Robbins and Ric Flair, born with made for “#hashtag” catchphrases: “Another one,” “Bless up,” “you played yourself.” His most famous phrase is of course “they.” As in “They don’t want you to eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast.” In short, “they” simply don’t want you get what’s yours. Whether that be money, fame or shedding some LB’s on a treadmill. So, who are “they”? On the surface, the Snapchat King is simply referring to the haters, but a deeper answer is actually right in front of us. When we click onto his latest Snapchat post, there he is in all his fresh-cut hairline bling glory. A handheld Magic Mirror staring back at us, talking about “they,” while looking at “you.” He’s not talking about the “you” that’s climbing Big Sur on your profile pic or the “you” snap chatting it up with models and bottles at the club, but the many “off-camera” sides of “you” staring into the black mirror that is your phone. They are the faces of self-doubt, boredom, anxiety, fear aka the dark side of our souls that stand in the way of being the best version of ourselves.
Critics will laugh DJ Khaled off as a walking meme, but his inspiring, always entertaining messages have legs because he walks in his audience’s shoes and we aren’t referring to his envious sneaker head collection. In this digital age, DJ Khaled smartly uses a portable modern medium to spread age old messages of keeping good people around you, staying focused on what’s important to you and spreading good vibes. It may sound like Fortune Cookie philosophy minus the MSG, but he speaks it in a 21st Century social media language we understand — 10 second words of wisdom that disappear after being consumed.
What we've learned from Khaled's snapchat...
Spirit animals are for kids and PETA, pick a spirit emoji and make it yours.
DJ Khaled practically put the “key” emoji on the texting map as he uses it to describe everything from body lotion “cocoa butter is the (key)” to H2O, “water is the (key) to success.” Dibs on the “alembic” emoji.
“Watch your back, but more importantly when you get out the shower, dry your back. It’s a cold world out there.”
The only thing worse than getting played is a runny nose.
“They'll try to close the door on you... Just open it.”
Knock-knock jokes are a great way to do that.
“The key to more success is cocoa butter.”
Ashy is not classy.