It’s hard to determine exactly when I first started liking DJ Khaled, mainly because his clips all blend into one. Her looks also follow the same indistinguishable, but still uncontrollable theme: a printed silk camp shirt that reminds me of very expensive and busy upholstery, endless bathrobes, and a constant rotation of tracksuits. Recently I fell in love with the producer and musician while he was promoting his new album Khaled Khaled. For the album cover, he wore a relaxed blue look that consisted of a silky shirt and baggy pants – the kind of blue you see in a sweet tropical drink. In this excessive attire, Khaled looked great.
Khaled’s personal style really shines in his clips. My favorite moment – which happens in most of them – is when Khaled looks away thoughtfully, dressed in new clothes. In “I’m On One,” he gazes out into a cityscape while wearing a white bridal tracksuit and sipping a nuclear green 4Loko (Drake raps in the background). In “Do You Mind,” he plays the piano with his hands adorned with a mortgage value in gold. He wears a fuzzy Goyard print shirt and two Goyard leather duffel bags on a white piano.
But the producer’s style hasn’t always been so wild. In the early 2000s, he mostly wore oversized polo shirts and white t-shirts. It was not really until 2017, with his release of the album. Grateful, that we started to see Khaled’s look really blossom. Coincidentally, that was when his name was really all over the place. In the “Wild Thoughts” clip starring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, the full-bearded Khaled is seen in a floral-print silk bomber jacket moving his arms to the beat. In “I’m the One,” he wears a groovy shirt with a pair of simple jeans. This is just the start of Khaled’s larger-than-life look. Since then, the colors have only become more vivid and the patterns more wild.
Khaled’s look needs to be bright to match his personality and his music. We hear him say “We the best” or “DJ Khaled!” at the start of a song. Sometimes he goes on a tangent and will give us a trail of affirmations at the start of his videos, which are iconic in their own right. It wouldn’t make sense if the man behind those exclamations was a minimalist. But more than that, he’s a producer, which is usually more of a behind-the-scenes job than a musician. In order to make a splash in the industry, it has to be seen and make a good impression. That’s where those retina-burning monochrome looks, wildly printed silk shirts, and maniacal Valentino hoodies with multi-colored camouflage come in.
Khaled’s style is like him: he’s loud about to be boring, but you remember it’s tender and genuine at the end of the day. Khaled can best be summed up in an Instagram video in which he films himself taking his wife shopping at Bergdorf and he keeps yelling “honey, buy the whole store”. His wife, the mother of his two children, is visibly annoyed. But at the end of the video, he tells her how hard he works and they’re back to canoodling. Khaled grows on you, as does his appearance. Plus, you know it came from a good place. With his aesthetic, Khaled doesn’t whisper anything soft, but instead shouts “major key alerts”. And we can’t wait to learn more.