I Spent a Week Following DJ Khaled’s Keys to Success

Justin Caffier
(Photo: Getty)

If you’re one of the few remaining holdouts not following DJ Khaled on Snapchat, in the words of the man himself, “Congratulations, you played yourself.”

DJ Khaled might be best known to the majority of the populace as the guy behind hip hop tracks like “All I Do is Win” and “We Takin’ Over.” A mainstay in the rap and pop world, Khaled can often be heard shouting “WE THE BEST!” at the beginning of many a track from the past decade. DJ Khaled could have been a footnote in the history books as just another bombastic screaming dude from all those songs on the radio.

And then Snapchat happened. DJ Khaled wasn’t an early adopter by any stretch, but when he finally turned his iPhone on himself and his daily routines, the world took notice. Where some might merely snap what they are enjoying, Khaled presents like a motivational speaker, offering, free of charge, pearls of wisdom that might lead an acolyte to the riches and fame he’s achieved.

These myriad “keys to success,” as he calls them, have taken the Internet by storm. There’s something universally appealing about a wealthy superstar telling the everyman that switching to egg whites and moisturizing with cocoa butter puts both parties on essentially the same path. A hype-man down to his marrow, it’s how Khaled verbally sells these fundamentals that makes following him such a blast. He tells viewers of the benefits of Dove soap with the same conviction and excited secrecy of a stockbroker offering a hot insider-trading tip. This, coupled with his insistence of an omnipotent, omnipresent “they” not wanting him or, more importantly, YOU to engage in such simple pleasures only adds to the feeling of belonging to a secret society of self-improvement.

Watching someone marvel over turkey sausage is fun and all, but what would I stand to lose by actually following along with Khaled on this “pathway to more success?” His recommendations were affordable enough and easily actionable. I decided to follow his keys for just a week to see how much they could benefit my life.

My phone's wallpaper for the week / SNAPCHAT

 

HYGIENE

Khaled is nothing if not a man of routine.  His bathroom keys include washing his face and body with only a bar of Dove soap, followed by vigorously drying his back, and finishing off with a slathering of cocoa butter over the entirety of his body. Following this regimen for seven days didn’t seem to have a noticeable effect on my overall cleanliness, but the cocoa butter did, as promised, leave me smelling nice.

Khaled is also a proponent of oral hygiene, convincing me to add a Listerine rinse back into my brushing and flossing routine. I don’t know why I stopped in the first place. Maybe I just ran out and forgot to get a replacement bottle. If nothing else came of this, Khaled brought me back to the minty breath flock, so I (and my kissing partner) must give thanks for that. Note: Giving thanks is also a major key to success, so clearly I’ve incorporated that Khaledism into my life as well.

 

DIET

Chef Dee, DJ Khaled’s personal chef, gives a gruff, disinterested hello to her boss and his followers each morning as he trundles down for the same breakfast: egg whites, turkey bacon/sausage, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, water. Khaled undoes any net health gains from the AM with the six-course lunches Chef Dee serves him each day, but those lunches were never listed as keys, so fortunately I needed only to follow the healthy part of his diet.

I went out and bought myself some turkey bacon and eggs from the grocery store before my week began, but I quickly realized that without a professional preparing and plating these things for me each morning, there was no way I’d be getting up a half hour earlier to make ’em. My work/alarm schedule is not quite as leisurely as Khaled’s. Fortunately, the Starbucks next to my work sold a turkey bacon and egg white English muffin sandwich, so I just had that every day while my groceries sat in the fridge at home.

Following Khaled’s other food-based edicts, I removed pork from my diet, drank lots of coconut water, and ate apples as snacks. I wasn’t able to adhere to the “gluten-free in all your food” rule, but I didn’t feel too bad about it because Khaled has outed himself eating a croissant or cake on numerous occasions on Snapchat. These all might seem like obvious “eat healthy” tips, but clustered together under the umbrella of Khaled keys, they allowed me to lose 5 pounds over the course of the week.

Khaled also recommends three Alive! gummy adult multi-vitamins a day, but my order from Amazon got lost somewhere in the pipeline and I’ve been emailing them to try and get a refund or replacement. Fortunately, a few of Khaled’s other keys (“Don’t panic,” “Never give up”) have helped me through this minor crisis.

 

RELAXATION

Khaled is the truest form of a bon vivant out there today, and part of his enjoyment of life comes from meditative things like (over) watering his plants and lion statue in his yard. He screams “LION!” every day as the hose sprays into its metal mouth. You can tell the man is at peace in the oasis he’s built for himself out on the shores of Miami.

Unfortunately, I have a one-bedroom apartment in the center of Los Angeles, with no yard to speak of. I do own one large plant that sits on my kitchen table that I, regretfully, have been neglecting a bit. I never learned the species of my plant, as it was an impulse buy from IKEA, so Khlaed’s suggestion of naming one’s plants seemed like a good way to give some sort of identity to my green companion of over two years. I couldn’t tell you why, but Salsa seemed a good name for it. With a newfound sense of obligation towards this living thing, I watered Salsa daily and positioned him to catch better rays of light from the front window of my place.

Khaled also made it a priority to spend time in his hammock. Again, due to housing limitations, I had no such place to hang a hammock. Fortunately, over the course of the week, I walked by a random house in the city that had a front yard hammock between two trees. Following another of the keys to “find happiness and embrace it,” I trespassed into that yard and had myself a good minute of hammock swinging.

 

OUTLOOK

It might be easy to dismiss the happy-go-lucky attitude of Khaled as naïve or foolish. But anyone who sees his snaps for more than a few days in a row can see that this is not a put-on. The guy is genuine in his positivity. Maybe he’s become a bit self-aware over the past few weeks, with more Apple Cîroc and wethebeststore.com plugs, but he hasn’t become a cynic. There’s a kernel of philosophical truth at the core of this braggy Buddha.

Khaled’s commands to “bless up” and “give thanks to the most high” would normally have no place in the vocabulary of a nonbeliever such as myself, but the infectious good vibes that come with each utterance, even if just placebo in nature, can’t be discounted.

More than anything, my takeaway from a week of living like Khaled was the message that’s been driven into me from a million other sources over the course of my life: stay positive. I feel generally better today than I did a week ago and it would be dismissive of me to think that had nothing to do with bombarding myself with the daily affirmations of this generation’s Stuart Smalley.

I might still have light years to go on my personal pathway to success, but thanks to the sage teachings of DJ Khaled, I have the tools to make the journey a hell of a lot more enjoyable.

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