A Legacy of More Than Music
by Xiara Lemoine
Setting foot into the DJ Khaled and We The Best press conference room, the media, press, and talent were swept into a space that gave a glimpse of the supporting community and backbone of the DJ himself, his Miami roots. The room is illuminated with orange and pink hued lighting, an homage to the beautiful Miami sunsets alongside floral graphics on the banners and screen at the forefront of the room, giving those visiting a taste of Miami and making the natives feel at home as Khaled would.
With chat and excitement filling the room from familiar faces reuniting, the crowd was quickly silenced by the screen at the front of the press room illuminating the sight of none other than one of Khaled’s closest friends, P. Diddy. As he welcomed guests and people found their seats, he had nothing but amazing things to say about the DJ before he announced, “Without further ado, one of the greatest of all time. Somebody that I call my best friend, my brother. Welcome to the stage, DJ Khaled.” Applause spread throughout the room as DJ Khaled took to the stage to announce all that 2023 has to offer for himself and his partnerships.
From the instant he took the stage, it became evident that DJ Khaled is an artist that not only entertains, but also educates. One of the first things he said to the crowd was: “Don’t burn any bridges because only God can walk on water.”
For those that were unfamiliar with him, he made it clear early on in his speech that, “one thing about me is I only know how to be myself. I only know how to be me.” This statement was prevalent not only while he introduced himself, but also in the display of genuine connections he has made with each person he works with.
Through sharing his plans for the future and collaborations during the press conference it became very clear just how true to himself he is in his personal life as well as work life. For starters, Khaled invited Def Jam Recordings to join him on stage, this collaboration is nothing new to the DJ being that in 2009 he was the president for Def Jam South. He shared that at the point he is at in his career he felt that it’s a perfect time to return, this time as a global creative consultant. This along with the co-branding of Def Jam and We The Best; the marriage of the two should excite fans for new music and content in the near future.
The Miami native DJ then goes on to announce another upcoming project with infamous shoe brand, Jordan/Jumpman23. Yet another example of the genuine bonds the artist forms with his businesses, as he clarifies he has “never paired with other [shoe] companies because of loyalties to Jordan.”
Since the drop of the We the Best Jordan that sold out in seconds last winter, and “with this partnership right here,” Khaled exclaims, “this is a dream come true. I’ve been part of the brand since birth. Years ago I had so many other people coming up to me saying ‘Khaled, we love you, we want you to be a part of this, a part of that’ I’m like I can’t. I respect that y’all are coming and I appreciate y’all, I just can’t do it because it wouldn’t be authentic to me, because really all I wear is Air Jordan.”
His fans similarly felt the connection and authenticity with the brand as “this was the largest launch of any collaborator we’ve ever worked with in the history of the brand,” said the Vice President of Entertainment Marketing for the Jordan Brand, Reggie Saunders.
Aside from the numerous brand collaborations, Khaled’s collaboration with the community proved itself to be just as important as he joined with the Jordan brand, Snipes, and Roc Nation to give back. DJ Khaled and Snipes announced they will be opening a Snipes x We The Best Store in Miami this summer.
One community outreach in particular stood out was Roc Nation’s School of Music, Sports, & Entertainment announcement of their full, four-year scholarship that is all thanks to DJ Khaled. With their first ever winner Felicia taking the stage beaming with joy, Roc Nation and DJ Khaled will cover all of her college expenses to reward her hard work in high school. The impact of the DJ’s outreach was visible to all in the room.
To close out the press conference the stage was taken by Dan Gelber, Mayor of Miami Beach who spoke highly of the resident of his city, DJ Khaled, and the outreach that he has seen throughout his time living in the area. The mayor explained that it is not because of his celebrity but because of his actions as a member of the Miami Beach community that he was awarded with the key to the city and a proclamation that February 9th, 2023 is declared DJ Khaled day in the city of Miami Beach.
But in DJ Khaled fashion, one key is not enough, only major keys! The final speaker of the press conference was the Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, who awarded Khaled with yet another key to his city as his song “I Got the Keys” appropriately closed the ceremony.
All in all, the press conference made one thing very clear. Beyond his fame, his highly decorated discography, or his financial successes, DJ Khaled is a man of God who is dedicated to building up his community and everyone around him. He is an artist that leads with a good heart, positive energy, and words of affirmation and encouragement. His press conference unified a multitude of successful and young people of color from all areas of the country, and perfectly represented the values he stands for.
Copyright ©2023 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: February 11, 2023.
Photos by Ariella Lafayette © 2023. All rights reserved.