Whether he’s rocking stadiums across the U.S. with Jay-Z and Beyoncé, in the studio producing the follow-up to his many hit records (“Wild Thoughts” featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, anyone?) or running his record label, We the Best Music Group, Khaled Mohamed Khaled — better known as DJ Khaled — always has something new to share with his fans and followers.
And that’s what the Grammy-nominated mega-producer and WW (formerly Weight Watchers) spokesman was doing late last month in L.A. at Shoe Palace on Melrose Avenue, promoting a sneaker collaboration with Nike’s Jordan Brand. For the occasion, Khaled dressed for comfort in a white Air Jordan tracksuit and he couldn’t help but mention how his royal blue shoes — Air Jordan IIIs originally released in 1988 — stood out against the white fabric that went to his ankles.
“Even though I’m not a basketball player,” Khaled said, “Michael Jordan inspired me to be great. He represents greatness.”
The footwear event gave Khaled, who has more than 12 million Instagram followers, a chance to spend time with fans as well as his celebrity friends, including Mark Wahlberg and Busta Rhymes. He also took questions from Joe La Puma, host of Complex’s “Sneaker Shopping” series, during the appearance.
Khaled’s fans turned out by the dozens, lining the block outside the store for a chance to meet him and purchase DJ Khaled X Jordan hoodies and tees (available at wethebeststore.com), which came with a voucher to download his forthcoming “Father of Asahd” album.
A promo ad seen ahead of Khaled’s big footwear reveal — he’s releasing two limited-edition pairs of IIIs (one style in blue leather, the other in blue suede) — featured him comically dribbling and then dunking on what appeared to be a shorter-than-NBA-regulation basketball rim. (The blue kicks also match his blue Rolls-Royce.)
His Jordan-style intensity, however, manifests itself when he’s creating new songs or performing. “I’m like that onstage and in the studio,” Khaled said. “I go hard. No days off.”
During a few minutes with Khaled, he said his knack for grinding and cross-promotion is genetic. “My DNA said I have to work hard,” he said, deadpanning.
The leather Another One IIIs are named after a Khaled slogan that suggests his streak for making hit records won’t end. The limited-edition sneakers don’t yet have a wide release date. For now, Khaled is raffling off some of the shoes to fans through his website and donating several pairs to charity.
His son Asahd (“Lion” in Arabic) was the namesake inspiration for the second pair, the suede Father of Asahd. Being a proud dad is a 24-7 gig for Khaled. Having Asahd in his life, Khaled said, has helped him recognize “what the purest love is. When I see my son smile, I feel like God is smiling on me.”
As for his busy work life, Khaled said he enjoyed his time as DJ for Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s On the Run II tour. Speaking of the power couple, he said they haven’t been successful by happenstance: “They work for everything they have and they’re an amazing family. They give back. They’re the biggest icons in music but also good people. I love them so much.”
With the tour in the rearview mirror, Khaled said he had plans to return to Miami. (According to real estate records as reported by Hot Property, Khaled agreed last month to pay $21.75 million for a waterfront Miami Beach mansion.) In Florida, he’ll likely stick to his fall-fashion-friendly Dickies shorts, a white tee and his requisite Jordans. And he’ll sit on his king’s throne. Yes, Khaled is also in the home-decor business.