So as an artist on Cash Money, do you feel any added pressure for We The Best Forever to become a commercial success with the likes of Wayne, Drake, and Nicki Minaj putting out platinum plus albums?
I don’t feel pressure at all. With my albums, it’s a little different than what they do. When you buy a Khaled album you will expect to hear an “I’m On One” and other crazy collaborations. I’m not worried about record sales. Do I want to sell a lot of records? Of course I do. But people have to know my history. I’m 7 to 8 million singles sold in my career. So all my records that have dropped have been no. 1 independent albums. And now I’m running with the majors. I’m the guy that dropped “We Taking Over,” “All I Do Is Win,” “I’m So Hard,” “Out Here Grindin’’ and “Go Hard” and of course all of the remixes to those records. My main thing about my albums is I want all my singles to go platinum plus. And if that influences the record sales, then great.
Is it more important to be hot/influential or commercially successful?
I can tell you one thing. When you jump into someone’s car they are playing my record. When you turn on the radio they are playing my record. When you walk into a club they are playing my record. It’s all about being hot, relevant and making money.
What direction, musically, are you taking We The Best Forever?
This is a special album. Birdman told me I could put as many singles as I want out. I never had that luxury. When I would make my other albums I would record two to three records I wanted to put out to radio. And the rest I would put out to the clubs and to the streets. But this album is so singles-driven. I have some records featuring artists that I’ve never worked with before. And I’m coming with a new sound.
Who are some of the artists that you reached out to? There’s been some talk that Kanye West will be making an appearance.
Me and Kanye are talking. It’s coming out amazing. But overall, these songs are hits. I never worked with Mary J. Blige, but we have an amazing record together. I’ve never worked with Chris Brown, Keyshia Cole, or Cee-Lo Green, but they are all on the album. And of course you got Wayne, Drake, Birdman, Jeezy, and Ross…all the usual suspects.
Will we see that new Nas collaboration that has been buzzing about?
Me and Nas are still on the creative process. He was on my last two albums. We are talking to get a new song done. I think it’s pretty close. The list of the artists on We The Best Forever is amazing, but the records are hits. The album will drop in July, and I’m still hunting down Eminem. It’s the right time to ask for him. This is my fifth album, so I should be on his radar.
You’ve taken some flack over your career for not being a traditional hip-hop producer. Do you think that’s a misconception?
Well, in the beginning of my production career I would be on the MPC 60, the keyboard with the turntables on the side and sampling records. That’s how I started…as a producer. But the bigger I got I expanded the team and got young guys around me so I could orchestrate the situation. It was the smart move because no one is going to hustle as hard as me.
Looking back on your career, what has so far been your favorite highlight?
I got to see Big Pun put out the smashes that he did. I got to be in the studio with him. And another highlight was working on “Lean Back” with Fat Joe and Scott Storch, which was recorded in my house studio. I’ll never forget that day. We were coming up with the choruses and we had all this energy. We knew it was a hit. It was easy to make and we knew it was a special song. Fat Joe…that’s brother. I always tell people besides both of us being in the music game we are really friends. I’ve been down with him since his first album. I look up to him.