Dj Khaled is having a moment. The New Orleans born Miami based DJ has been an aspirational, outspoken, and vivacious bundle of hip hop spunk for years, but his recent wonders and forays into social media have left the public truly spellbound. Whether telling us, the public, about the soothing qualities of maintaining a garden, the secrets of scent (it’s cocoa butter), how we must stay clean, or just generally empowering us to see our own inner wisdom and not play ourselves, Khaled has us as a society mesmerized. Even the NY Times has taken notice.
He is the sort of gregarious character our society loves and rally’s around. To this end, there are even those out there on the internets who have begun to loudly wonder: should DJ Khaled be president?
As ridiculous as it sounds, he would certainly be entertaining as a candidate, and a debate between himself and Vanilla ISIS (Donald Trump) would no doubt rival the super bowl in ratings, or at least a syndicated episode of Law and Order SVU.
For the sake of my own interest, and that of the American public at large, let us examine DJ Khaled’s views on the most divisive and important topics of this election cycle and imagine what an America run by President Khaled would look like.
Born Khaled Mohamed Khaled to Palestinian immigrant parents in New Orleans, Louisiana, immigration, particularly that of Muslims to America, no doubt is an issue rests close to home for Khaled. Needless to say, if Muslims were banned from entering our great nation, then DJ Khaled would not exist in his current form as true embodiment of the American dream. Khaled is a living testament to the ability to embrace all America stands for (hip hop, gaudy jewelry, Ciroc vodka) while being proud of one’s roots. America and our collective identity is a complicated matter of nuance and multiplicity, and often ontologically opposed ideals possessed in our communal vision, lifestyles, and history. Khaled recognizes this with gusto, and would hold true to the words inscribed on the statue of liberty welcoming those fleeing tyranny and oppression throughout the world, coming to our shores with the dream of being, like Khaled, the best.
Khaled, despite his husky exterior, is in fact a man dedicated to health and fitness. He is heavily invested in the public maintaining proper hygiene, and regularly works out in an effort to lose weight and eat pears with his protege and ecrivan of America’s future national anthem Rick Ross (Khaled’s presidency will usher in a decree by which “Hustlin” will ring out before all sporting events and patriotic endeavors). More importantly, Khaled is a man of the people. To quote from his classic “I’m From The Ghetto”:
We the best
I represent the hood
I represent the ghetto
I represent the people
I represent you
A true people’s champion, and surely someone who would believes in the benefits and accessibility the affordable healthcare act and medicaid give to our impoverished communities. On our currency there is a simple term, “E Plurbis, Unum” – “Out of many, one”. Khaled is not in the streets declaring himself the best. No no comrade, it is WE, that are the best.
See above for Khaled’s populist tendencies, and couple that with the fact that this is a man who has amassed a net worth of 18 million dollars. What you get is a living, breathing, embodiment of a champagne socialist (minus the negative connotations). Khaled knows how to make a dollar out of a dime, and knows that he needs to bring the hood along with him on his journey to more success. He is a disrupter, screaming on the stage of Wall Street, demanding more for us, the people.
It would be rational to think to yourself “DJ Khaled certainly has no experience with our nation’s foreign policy movers and shakers”. You would be fundamentally wrong, however, as our very own state department has been promoting Khaled as a beacon of American culture for years.
Further, with Russia’s resurgence into global geo-politics and the end of America’s era as the dominant force in a monopolar world, a man skilled in negotiation and diplomacy will be needed. Khaled, who we have already seen as a uniter of people’s domestically, is also skilled in the art of brokering peace. Who amongst us can forget when he brokered peace between two of Jamaica’s most prolific and yet at times violent and surly dancehall artists Bounty Killer and Movado? If he can bring an amicable and artistic solution between these two warring camps then one can only be excited for his negotiations with Sergei Lavrov as America looks to continue to assert itself as an agent for good in a world troubled by tyranny and war.
The Middle East:
The rise of ISIS, the ongoing civil war in Syria, the troubled legacy of our war in Iraq, the continued troubles of Israel and Palestine: is there any region more contentious and debated in American politics than the Middle East? Again, as a Palestinian and a Muslim, these are issues close to the corazon of Khaled. And yet, as a man with more at stake in these causes than many other Americans, he is also a man who maintains a cool head, and knows the answer to the region’s problems is not more war, but love, peace, and dialogue. Talking to Power 105.1 he made this clear.
“I feel like in America, we get along, you know what I’m saying, Arabs, Jews, Italians, if you’re white, or spanish or black, we all get along in america, I know that took some time back in the day, but they overcomed it, and I feel like if we overcomed it in America, why can’t we overcome it in the Middle East? You know what I’m saying?….I think our leaders need to boss up even more to say ‘you know what, we gotta overcome this you know what I’m saying?”
While many of our current candidates pay lip service to the idea of diversity and a racially harmonious America, Khaled lives it. Just a quick look at videos such as Khaled’s immortal “We Taking Over” and “Holla at me baby” shows a veritable rainbow coalition of musicians creating masterful and empowering harmonies to inspire America’s youth. A Senegalese immigrant R&B super star, a lower class white rapper from houston, a Puerto Rican from Trinity ave in the Bronx, a black prodigy from the Magnolia housing projects of New Orleans, all brought together by a Muslim Arab in a fantastically polished gold chain. When the aliens come back to fight Tom Cruise’s eschatonical war and our planet is destroyed, these are the images of pan-racial mirth I hope our society is remembered by.
Women have been systematically oppressed throughout history. Their rights are now in danger more than ever with plans to close planned parenthood coupled with armed attacks against the institution, as well as the anti-abortion movement in full swing attempting to regulate women’s bodies in a way that is both grotesque and hypocritical. All this coincides with the continued injustice of the “glass ceiling” and lack of equal pay for women and the dramatic lack of representation of women in politics.
Khaled has complicated views on woman. He is part of a institution of hip hop that to put it lightly has degraded women for years. HOWEVER! Despite this, and despite his personal qualms with cunulangous, he says “..the man should praise the queen”. Further, through his collaborations and work with feminist icons Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma, we can see that Khaled is a man who admires the ambitions, hustle, and artistic/entrepreneurial work of woman, and will stand to make sure they are treated equally and respectfully in our great American society.
America needs inspirational figures. We are not a nation that wants technocrats and scholars as our leaders. We have proven, for better or worse, that we want someone we can have a beer with. Whether that means knocking back some O’Douls and singing honky tonk with GW or a Yuengling and discussing the root of violence in Chicago with Obama, it’s something we seem to be into. DJ Khaled is not only someone to have a beer with, he is a man to drink an entire bottle of Ciroc with and then tear the fucking club up with as Crime Mob resonates throughout the beer hall. He is a uniter, he is a man who will give America the courage to be THE BEST, to make sure that the next century is ANOTHER ONE of American greatness, who can help us find the key’s to success we are looking for. Who can help us win more.
It is time to recognize Khaled as a viable candidate for America. It’s time to listen.