DJ Khaled speaks on his friendship with Rick Ross, his respect for Kanye West, and shares stories of how he acquired last minute Jay Z features.
DJ Khaled has made quite a name for himself in the hip hop industry, despite his role in many of his hits being somewhat unclear. He's worked with the biggest names in the industry, and as a result has quite a few stories under his belt. In a recent interview with Life + Times, the record engineer shared some of his most interesting memories with the likes of Rick Ross, Kanye West and Jay Z.
"I remember telling Ross, 'Ayo, Ross. We made it,'" Khaled recalls of the 2007 video shoot for "We Takin' Over". "That was the day, for me personally, that my life changed," he said. "Ever since that, me and Ross been loyal to each other and there's nothing he won't do or nothing I won't do for each other. We don't say the word 'no' to each other. We just do it."
Khaled also spoke of Kanye's perfectionism, and his respect for the rapper's passion and approach.
"Kanye's like my friend and I love working with him because he's the type of person to start freestyling the record right there," Khaled said. "He always will challenge anything. The shit could be sounding [like] the most amazing thing ever and he'll still challenge it. That's what I like about him. Kanye, I just respect his passion because I got passion too for the music and I go hard and I respect what he do. Me and him is just cool and he's always kept it real with me from Day 1. He don't do features. He do them for me. He don't do videos. He do them for me. That's what you call a friend. Kanye, thank you."
The "We The Best" mogul then shared two experiences in which he had to acquire a Jay Z verse at the last minute.
"The record been done," Khaled said of Rick Ross's "Free Mason." "Ross and them recorded. Him and Jay recorded. Been done. The problem was when I went to go get the files, the files wasn't there. So we had to redo the record and the album had to be turned in the next day...I had to hit Jay and I think Jay was on vacation and the album had to go in production the next day."
Apparently Jay could not be reached until Khaled personally emailed the rapper.
"So I hit Jay and I hit Jay with an e-mail," Khaled said. "Just to make a long story short, the e-mail was like ten letters long because I had to explain to him, 'We have to get this tonight.'"
The situation became no less frantic when Jay replied.
"He hit me back," said Khaled. "'Do you have a studio in the Hamptons that you can book?' I called everywhere. We finally got a spot in the Haptons. He knocked it out. I got to go to mastering the next day. I don't know if anybody believes me. It's a true story."
The Suffering From Success DJ explained a similar situation with Ross, Dre and Jay's "3 Kings".
"The album was due in two days," he said. "Jay's on tour with Watch the Throne in London and all these places. Don't forget, Dr. Dre is not the easiest person either, but that's amazing. Dre, Jay and Ross? That's fuckin' incredible, to have all them on a record. On Jay, he was on his tour, such a great guy, after a show, he knocked it out. The problem is there was different times so I had the studio booked for like three days straight and I just slept in the studio because I didn't know when it would get done and when it does get done, the changes in the mix, the levels, because I gotta make sure they approve it as well because these are big artists. So, I sat there for three days just to get that turned in for mastering for Ross to be happy with it and for Dre and Jay to be happy with it. That's part of an A&R's job, the behind-the-scenes that people don't see."
Watch the interview below.