Today, at a press conference in his hometown of Miami, Grammy-winning, global megastar DJ Khaled announced an exclusive partnership with Def Jam Recordings for his We The Best label venture, as well as his future releases as a multi-platinum recording artist.
Khaled – who in his celebrated career as an artist, producer, DJ and curator has amassed global sales of over 20 million singles and 6 million albums in addition to garnering 4 billion-plus streams – will also join the Universal Music Group in an executive role, serving as Global Creative Consultant to Def Jam and UMG’s family of artists worldwide.
This major announcement serves as a homecoming for DJ Khaled, who originally took on an executive A&R position at the label in 2008, developing hits for major stars like Rick Ross and others.
DJ Khaled states, “This new chapter marks a special time for me. The energy at this point in my career is at an all-time high and I’m grateful to Sir Lucian Grainge for allowing me to join his empire at this stage in my journey. Together, we will achieve even greater heights and take it to the next level. I feel blessed and so inspired with renewed energy. I’m excited to not only partner, but to come back home to Def Jam. Tunji Balogun is not only an extraordinary A&R, but a true music-man and visionary who continuously is responsible for introducing the world to some of its next greatest superstars. I’m excited to join my sister and visionary executive LaTrice Burnette once again, as we have had tremendous success on every single project we have collaborated on in the past. Def Jam is the culture and together we will make history yet once again.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG’s Chairman and CEO, said, “DJ Khaled is a great artist, hitmaker, mentor and cultural innovator. It gives me great pleasure to welcome him home to UMG where we look forward to working together to amplify his brilliant creative instincts and unique vision.”
“Beyond a proven hitmaker, incredible producer, undeniable artist, and consummate showman, DJ Khaled occupies the rarified air of cultural icon,” said Tunji Balogun, Chairman and CEO of Def Jam Recordings. “His uncanny ability to continuously have his finger on the pulse of the culture, to reach audiences all over the world in innovative yet authentic ways, and his remarkable savvy for marketing, promoting and eventizing everything he touches is absolutely second to none. We are thrilled to partner with DJ Khaled and We The Best, both as a multi-platinum, award-winning artist and as a valued executive. Without a doubt, Khaled can only make us better.”
“DJ Khaled has been a dear friend and close collaborator of mine for over a decade,” said LaTrice Burnette, Executive Vice President, Def Jam Recordings/President, 4th & Broadway. “Throughout our years together at Epic, Khaled and I developed a special working bond and broke barriers through a united vision, focused partnership and hard work. I have a tremendous respect for Khaled’s artistry, creativity, work ethic, marketing savvy, and boundless positive energy. I’m thrilled to welcome him back home to Def Jam, and can’t wait to see what we cook up next.”
Last week, DJ Khaled was joined by an all-star cast – including longtime friend, collaborator, and manager JAY-Z, rap superstars Rick Ross and Lil Wayne, and new Def Jam label-mate Fridayy – for a showstopping performance of his ‘Song Of The Year’ nominated smash “GOD DID” at the 65th Annual Grammys Awards – one of his six nominations for the night and ten Grammy nominations overall. Over the course of his legendary career, Khaled has been nominated for 15 BET Awards, an astounding 56 BET Hip-Hop Awards, 15 MTV Video Music Awards, and countless prizes and recognitions across the globe.
“GOD DID” is the title track of DJ Khaled’s thirteenth full-length studio album, GOD DID, his fourth career #1 debut on the Billboard Top 200 and fifth straight #1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart. The album arrived with an unprecedent rollout of music videos, interviews and cultural conversation, and notched 10 entries on the Billboard Hot 100.
Along with today’s announcement of his new label home at Def Jam, Khaled took the opportunity to update media and fans on more exciting developments in his world.
Khaled has once again joined forces with Jordan for one of the year’s most-anticipated sneaker drops—the WE THE BEST AIR JORDAN V. Introduced to the market via an immersive, inventive, and innovative campaign on par with both entities’ respective reputations, the collaboration continues a longstanding relationship, dating back thirteen years to 2010. A proud member of the Jordan family of athletes, entertainers, and other collaborators, DJ Khaled represents the spirit of the brand– dedication to greatness, commitment to excellence, a love for the culture, and a desire to have an impact for the community. As one of Jordan’s most ardent and vocal supporters, Khaled proudly presents “another one” with this shoe. It follows a massive drop on Cyber Monday, resulting in the biggest collab launch in the history of the Jordan brand. With the company focused on “Self-Belief” for 2023, Khaled is proud to be among the standard bearers of this positive message. DJ’s Khaled’s We The Best Foundation will continue its partnership with the Jordan Brand Black Community Commitment, which over the last two years has invested almost seventeen million dollars with over seventy five nonprofits, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Ida B Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, and the Legal Defense Fund.
In keeping with Khaled’s philanthropic spirit and commitment, this year the We The Best Foundation – a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to uplifting individuals throughout underserved communities across the United States and the support various non-profits – announces its inaugural scholarship program, in partnership with Roc Nation.
The 2023 scholarship grant has been awarded to Felisha Agenor. The high school senior has attended the Overtown Youth Center since elementary school. Friends and faculty refer to as “The Achiever,” and she lives up to this moniker with a 4.2 GPA and active participation in seven clubs and sports such as Student Government Association, National Honors Society, Volleyball, and Softball, to name a few few. She also works as a Youth Worker for OYC at another local elementary school.
Today, DJ Khaled also announces his partnership with streetwear retailer Snipes for a Miami location. Khaled, who serves as Chief Creative Officer for Snipes has partnered with the leading sneaker and streetwear retailer to bring a new and exciting retail experience to Miami. Set to open its doors in the heart of Collins Ave., the We The Best Snipes store will be a true reflection of South Florida’s sneaker & streetwear culture. With the latest SNIPES apparel and exclusive co-branded merchandise, this concept store will offer a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. Visitors will be entertained with a live DJ, a sound booth for up-and-coming artists, and a showcase of the hottest apparel from local Miami fashion designers. The We The Best Snipes concept store is set to open later this year.
In more hometown news, DJ Khaled was honored with both the key to the City of Miami and the key to Miami Beach in recognition of his ongoing work in the community. By proclamation, February 9th is now recognized as “WE THE BEST” day in the city of Miami, and November 26th will be “KHALED KHALED” day in the city of Miami Beach.
It’s about to be his biggest season yet…
© 2023, Seth "Digital Crates" Barmash. All rights reserved.