DJ Khaled Speaks On Playing Rapper, Uniting Nicki Minaj And Lil Kim, & Jeezy and Ross’ ‘Beef’

DJ Khaled wraps up his day-long guest editing stint with a sit-down conversation with VIBE.

Interview by: John Kennedy



VIBE: I think you caught people off guard on the “All I Do Is Win (Remix),” when you got on the track rapping. What got into you? 

DJ Khaled: Well, I’m an artist as well as a DJ, producer and executive. I’ve always had an artist in me. I could’ve done it earlier in my career—spit a verse—but I just decided not to. On some of my albums, you’ve seen the growth besides me doing my creative intros, I’ll touch a chorus once in a while or my intros in my albums will be me semi-rapping. I just said, you know what? This is my fourth album, and “All I Do Is Win” is the number one record across the country. Platinum record. A remix is supposed to be a remix, so I said you know what, I’ma spit eight bars on here. And it makes sense, because all I do is win. I was like, you know what? I’ma get some verses from all these superstars, but I’ma give them a run for their money because I’ma go in. And I did that. I have one of the hottest verses on the remix.

Does that mean you’ll drop an album one day where you’re rapping all the way through?

I’m not planning to make a rap album, no. But I think I will [rap] once in a while. It depends on the record. If someone asks me to do something and I think I sound good on it and it’s the right kind of vibe, I’ll do it. But it gotta be something special for me to get on and actually rhyme.

Are you going to return to producing as Beat Novocain again?

I’m still producing. I co-produced my whole album, Victory, as well as my other albums. Sometimes I’m doing the whole beat, and sometimes I’m getting with some other producers and co-producing, because I have a team. A lot of people don’t know that, but sometimes you have to get technical on the depth of things. I plan to document some of this stuff. Not just with the beats alone, also with the songs and the hooks. I help write some of these records.

A lot of people think you just pull out your Blackberry and mix and match friends for songs.

They’re not educated, and they’re not supposed to be. Because that’s a behind-the-scenes thing. I’m just not the type of person to run around and brag, but I guess I’ma have to start bragging. That’s why I rapped on All I Do Is Win. I had to talk that talk. You can ask T-Pain—from “All I Do Is Win,” to “I’m So Hood,” to “Out Here Grindin,” we made them hooks together. You feel me? That’s what I do.

And you also bring artists together for monster remixes. But you’ve never had an all-female rapper all-star track. What gives?

It’s not about male-female, it’s about what I’m feeling at that moment or what I have planned to make that record. Nicki Minaj, she’s on my remix to “All I Do Is Win.” I worked with Lil Kim for “We Takin’ Over (Remix).” There’s only a few females out here in today’s age, in today’s time, that’s hurting the game. Maybe one day I’ll put an all-female collabo one day.

What do you think about Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim’s rivalry?

I don’t get into controversy too much. I love Nicki Minaj, I love Lil Kim. I don’t think they sound like each other. They’re both great MCs, I would love to see them do a record together. I want to see if I can make that happen, if on my next album I can make Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj do a record together, featuring DJ Khaled. That might be the biggest record in the game.

That’d be crazy!

Hey, I made Beanie Sigel and Jadakiss do a record together on my first album. I do these things. Records like that, to bring people together, people respect it ’cause they know I represent that love. I’ma reach out to Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim and try to pull that record together for y’all.

Word is there’s some friction between Rick Ross and Young Jeezy, too, after Jeezy followed Ross’ “B.M.F.” with “The Real B.M.F.,” both about Big Meech. Are they really beefin’?

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