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DJ Khaled opens up about Jay-Z and Beyoncé, his son Asahd and his recent Jordan Brand collaboration

DJ Khaled opens up about Jay-Z and Beyoncé, his son Asahd and his recent Jordan Brand collaboration
DJ Khaled unveils the efforts of his Jordan Brand footwear collaboration — the Father of Asahd III, left, and Another One III sneakers — during a recent appearance in Los Angeles. (Jerritt Clark / Getty Images for Epic Records)

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.

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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.

Grammy-nominated mega-producer DJ Khaled was the host of an exclusive pop-up event at Shoe Palace in Los Angeles to unveil his collaboration with Jordan Brand.
Grammy-nominated mega-producer DJ Khaled was the host of an exclusive pop-up event at Shoe Palace in Los Angeles to unveil his collaboration with Jordan Brand. (Jennifer Johnson)

“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.

DJ Khaled chats with Busta Rhymes during an in-store event at Shoe Palace in Los Angeles.
DJ Khaled chats with Busta Rhymes during an in-store event at Shoe Palace in Los Angeles. (Jennifer Johnson)

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.”

A hoodie from DJ Khaled X Jordan collaboration, $80, as well as a No Brainer tee, $40, are available to purchase on the hip-hop producer's website.
A hoodie from DJ Khaled X Jordan collaboration, $80, as well as a No Brainer tee, $40, are available to purchase on the hip-hop producer's website. (Jennifer Johnson)

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.

A closer look at DJ Khaled X Jordan Brand's Another One III, left, and Father of Asahd III sneakers.
A closer look at DJ Khaled X Jordan Brand's Another One III, left, and Father of Asahd III sneakers. (Jennifer Johnson)

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.”

DJ Khaled and his son Asahd attend the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 20 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
DJ Khaled and his son Asahd attend the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 20 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (Hubert Boesl / DPA / Zuma Press)

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.”

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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.

Hip-hop producer DJ Khaled paid $21.75 million for a modern Miami Beach mansion with five bedrooms and 12,750 square feet of living space.
Hip-hop producer DJ Khaled paid $21.75 million for a modern Miami Beach mansion with five bedrooms and 12,750 square feet of living space. (Blue Ocean Photography)

Pieces from his We the Best Home collaboration with Goldition are available online, and the collection includes sofas, desks, lion statues and, yes, a seat fit for a ruler. “I believe that we’re all kings and queens,” Khaled said. “We all should be embracing the riches of life. And I’m not talking money. I mean love, nature, happiness. … That’s royalty. You should have that feeling in your home.”

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