Beyoncé’s summer tour is this season’s biggest, boldest production. So that means the pressure is on for her opener DJ Khaled, whom the pop star tapped as a support act for her seven-month stadium trek. But Khaled, 40, is used to the attention: Since releasing 2006’s top 20 debut, Listennn… The Album, the MC has cultivated a wildly popular social-media presence, where he offers Zen musings on life, love, and the pursuit of #MajorKeys while documenting adventures like getting lost at sea on a Jet Ski. We tag along as he offers a glimpse of his time on the road with Queen Bey.
Khaled keeps up his energy on tour by maintaining a clean rider. “It’s a healthy environment,” he says. “Everybody’s on the [nutrition] shake vibe, the vegan vibe, eating healthy. I’ve got the Silk almond milk and then some fruit, like bananas or berries — all the stuff that keeps the vibe going amazing. I like to have a fruit platter in the room and some almonds, just in case I want to catch a little vibe.”
Bringing his A-game
“I have 30 minutes, and I tear it down legendary,” Khaled says of his sets. “The minute I come on stage, I give you a DJ Khaled performance as well as a DJ Khaled DJ set. I go in there, and I give you everything I have.” And opening for “one of the best artists in the world” doesn’t intimidate Khaled, who’s brought out top MCs — Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Future, Rick Ross, and Snoop Dogg among them — as guests. “Every night you can’t predict it,” he says. “The only thing you can predict is that you’re going to get the most amazing show ever.”
Despite his huge audience on Instagram (3.4 million followers!) and Snapchat, Khaled tries to interact with all his supporters. “First of all, I love them,” he says. “And at the same time, some people can’t handle success. I can. And that’s part of success, is being loved. I’m not going to fight no love away from me. I always take time to talk to them or shake their hand or catch a vibe or catch a Snap or just, you know, wave.”
Jay Z manages Khaled, but the two keep things loose and spend downtime talking about music, basketball, and more. It’s a different story when Beyoncé walks into the room, though. “I immediately continue talking to Jay Z or actually leave the room or run because I’m starstruck and I’m shy.”