When DJ Khaled speaks about himself, three words usually come into play: “love, hits and energy.” The recently appointed head of Def Jam South Records said that he refuses to let controversy — whether between 50 Cent and Rick Ross, or anyone else — distract him.
“I don’t deal with negative energy, it’s a waste of my time and my time is valuable,” he said last week in New York of his upbeat nature. “I keep negative away and stay positive.”
Khaled’s name has been in the middle of the ongoing verbal battle between Rick Ross and 50 Cent. 50 accused Khaled of inciting Ross to start the beef, and the back-and-forth escalated last week when Fif made a video called “A Psychic Told Me.” In it, 50 threatened Khaled’s mother; the video has since been removed from 50’s Web site.
Khaled declined to address the situation, saying that he wants to focus on music.
“At Def Jam, we promote music,” he added. “We promote hit records. That’s what I respect. I’m always going to represent the music; Rick Ross is gonna represent the music. If controversy comes with it, it comes with it. And boy, ‘Magnificent’ — Rick Ross featuring John Legend, that’s Ricky Ross’ first single — it’s a monster. It’s gonna be on and poppin’.”
Khaled is working more closely with his friend Ross than ever before. He served as the A&R rep for Ross’ forthcoming LP Deeper Than Rap, and in his new role as label president, he’ll be overseeing the album’s release as well. Also under his watch will be albums from Young Jeezy, Ludacris and his signee Ace Hood. (Ace is also signed to Khaled’s Def Jam-distributed imprint, We the Best Records.)
“This is what I’ve always wanted to do, is be an executive and take it to another level,” Khaled said. “L.A. [Reid] just hit me one day. He was like, ‘We should bring Khaled onboard. He makes hits, he has relationships.’ I got a team of producers and we go in hard. My job is to bring hits to the table and work with new artists and work with established artists. I’m bringing new energy to the game and to the building.”
Of course, Khaled garnered headlines of another kind last week, when a man who resembled Khaled led police on a chase in Los Angeles before taking his own life. Khaled said his phone was ringing all night.
“It wasn’t me, but you gotta give thanks for life,” he smiled.