A couple of months ago, I saw this tweet and laughed:
when your mom adds you on snapchat pic.twitter.com/gdzVHmRDVC
— Fed Up Pepe (@FedUpPepe) November 20, 2015
That’s DJ Khaled, the most relevant man on Snapchat, and as such, the most relevant man in the world. Khaled rose to fame in the 2000s as the guy that was in literally every rap song that ever came out, ever, not rapping, but yelling “DEEEEEEE JAYYYY KHALLLLLED!” at the beginnings.
Anyway. A few days after seeing that initial tweet, I saw the following and laughed hysterically:
WHEN YOUR DENTIST ADDS YOU ON SNAPCHAT pic.twitter.com/oh6jTfRZ0N
— NO CHILL (@NoChillPosts) November 29, 2015
I’d officially had it, so I fired off a tweet of my own:
what’s dj khaled’s snapchat username? need to add him
— Kyle Krajewski (@kylekraj) November 29, 2015
After a number of responses to my tweet, I’d found out that DJ Khaled’s Snapchat username is djkhaled305. I proceeded to add him and it was basically the best thing I’ve ever done. Here I am to report my findings.
How He Blew Up on Snapchat
Already relatively famous (more than two million Twitter followers), essentially all Khaled had to do to secure his initial niche audience of current fans was fire off a few tweets like this:
I’m goooooiiinnng in on snap chat right now !! Follow me on snap chat now djkhaled305
— DJ KHALED (@djkhaled) October 18, 2015
Gradually, through his unique behavior (which will soon be discussed), he would slowly become a meme to this audience (as seen in the tweets above). And become a meme he did—a big, walking talking meme. At this point, he just needed one big stunt to push him over the edge, making him truly viral.
On Dec. 15, 2015, DJ Khaled got lost at sea on his jet ski. He live-Snapchatted the entire thing. The Internet went berserk and everyone started adding him and talking about him. Honestly, take a couple minutes and watch this.
Understanding the DJ Khaled Brand and Terminology
DJ Khaled is incredibly confident in who he is. As a “mogul” in the rap game and life in general, he knows all of the keys to success, as is illustrated by the following video:
Always eager to bestow his wisdom upon the world, Khaled’s Snapchat story is rarely less than seven billion seconds long—chock full his of daily adventures: eating, jet skiing, watering his plants, and running on his elliptical, all of which he does while offering the most insane, ambiguous life advice. These are some of the key points you need to understand to get through the day with DJ Khaled:
‘They’: Presumably ‘the man’ and/or ‘haters’ who do not want you to do things that will lead to a happy life—Khaled lives his life in spite of the wishes of ‘they.’
Chef Dee: Khaled’s jaded personal chef whom he greets every morning to “see what’s up for breakfast.”
Breakfast: Egg whites, chicken sausage, turkey bacon, and of course, the key to more success, water. ‘They’ definitely don’t want you to eat breakfast.
The pathway to more success: the walkway to the outdoor patio at Khaled’s large Miami home. Everyday day he walks the pathway to more success and urges his followers to join him on the metaphorical journey.
Khaled’s plants: Commonly referred to as his “angles” (pronounced ‘angels,” captioned ‘angles’). He waters them. Probably way more than he should. ‘They’ don’t want you to have an elegant garden.
LION!!!!: A stone lion statues stands in Khaled’s garden, which borders the pathway to more success. Every time he passes it, he yells: “LION!!!!” often showering it as he waters his plants as well. No one knows why.
Lunch: While breakfast is the same thing everyday, lunch is not. Typically a smorgasbord of different foods, prepared by Chef Dee and suitable for a family of ten, ‘They’ definitely don’t want you to eat it.
The jet ski: Most days, Khaled rides his jet ski and most days he gets pulled over by the boat police for driving it like a jackass in no wake zones. He once live-Snapped himself getting lost at sea and the entire world panicked—see above.
Roadblocks: A roadblock is when the boat police pull you over on your jet ski for driving it like a jackass in no wake zones. “The key is to overcome it.”
Hammock talk: Words of wisdom, as seen in the video above, offered by Khaled as he lays in his hammock.
Elliptical talk: See “hammock talk” but substitute “as he lays in his hammock” with “as he works out on his elliptical, drenched in sweat.”
Cloth talk: See elliptical talk but substitute “as he works out on his elliptical, drenched in sweat” with “while showcasing DJ Khaled-themed merchandise that he wants you to buy from his website: WeTheBestStore.com.”
Major ?: Pay close attention when you see this caption. It’s a major key to success. Keys often include brushing your teeth, applying cocoa butter, and getting a fresh haircut.
Welcome to a day in the life of rap/life mogul DJ Khaled. It’s consistent, it’s the same thing every day, and it never ceases to amaze and enthrall.
The Results of Snapchat Stardom
In mid-December, particularly after The Jet Ski Incident, DJ Khaled was officially everywhere again, going from a C-lister in a genre of rap music that was slowly fading in popularity to a full-blown A-lister reaping in the benefits of social media stardom.
Side note: Yeah—this actually turned out to be fake. But if you’ve got haters, you must be doing something right. That’s something Khaled would say? Right?
Endless parody accounts
Uber when it’s raining—major ?
— Uber (@Uber) January 6, 2016
Major ? Alert: If you need ID Theft alerts, we’ve got you covered. ? #blessup
— MasterCard (@MasterCard) January 11, 2016
Dad’s on Snapchat pic.twitter.com/5pxb7W6A0I
— Brett LoGiurato (@BrettLoGiurato) January 12, 2016
Yeah, that’s the White House.
Chances are, you’ve also seen people imitating DJ Khaled’s Snap-style in Snaps of their own. Perhaps captioning a food snap with “they don’t want you to eat breakfast.”
Lots of other celebrities have been spotted doing the same: Justin Bieber, Calvin Harris, Diplo, Antonio Brown, Taylor Swift, and way more.
It’s an absolute viral sensation.
There is absolutely no way that DJ Khaled isn’t cashing out on his re-found fame. I know this for several reasons:
- After a few weeks of beginning to follow Khaled, I noticed a significant amount of product placement beginning to pop up in his daily routine—particularly the popular vodka brand Ciroc. The majority of his snaps end with the close up of the bottle of Ciroc Apple saying: “Celebrate success right. The only way. Apple.” Clearly something he was being paid to do.
- His fan base has evidently grown tremendously—to the point where he can simply Snapchat an address at which his fans can briefly meet him, and where they will, every time, show up by the hundreds, shouting out his famous one-liners.
Also, he’s currently been Snapchatting a stint of live concerts at which he’s been performing. All look to have been sold out shows. You couldn’t argue that his new, viral fame has hurt him there.
- Just a day or so ago, I happened to catch a few Snaps of Khaled at the Snapchat headquarters, hanging out with the team and Snapchat CEO Evan Speigel:
Oh yeah—he also has his own filters.
You can’t help but think there’s some kind of deal going on there with Snapchat trying to keep it’s newfound Golden Boy on the platform. They’d sure love to see that viral content keep coming on their app.
I used to think Snapchat was just fun—but I’m really beginning to realize that it’s quite a powerful tool.
If you’re not on Snapchat, get on it now. You’re so late. Next step? Start following DJ Khaled (djkhaled305) and do everything he says. The man knows the way.