DJ Khaled Joins Iconic Record Label, Def Jam Recordings

DJ Khaled has joined the iconic record label, Def Jam Recordings. In classic Khaled fashion,  the Dade County-bred said during an exclusive interview with Variety that he is looking to take his career to the “next level.”

Khaled will be bringing his We The Best imprint to the record label, following his eight-year stint at Epic Records.

“DJ Khaled is a great artist, hitmaker, mentor and cultural innovator,” UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge said in a statement announcing Khaled’s deal. “It gives me great pleasure to welcome him home to UMG where we look forward to working together to amplify his brilliant creative instincts and unique vision.”

In a statement, he said: “This new chapter marks a special time for me. The energy at this point in my career is at an all-time high and I’m grateful to Sir Lucian Grainge for allowing me to join his empire at this stage in my journey.

Khaled also told Variety about his long-lasting relationship with Grainge.

“Lucian and I, we always talked about me coming back home. So I felt like it was written for me to come back where I’m at in my career as an artist, an executive and as a producer, I felt like this is beautiful, Khaled said.  “I could have went anywhere in the Universal system and I chose Def Jam because of Tunji and LaTrice.”

In 2009, Khaled was named the president of Def Jam South, a music division of Def Jam, but he left the post in 2011. Under the new partnership,  the Grammy-Award- winning producer was also named Global Creative Consultant for UMG.

Speaking with Variety, Khaled added: “It’s about connecting, and getting ready for a new chapter with new energy and excitement. Because that’s what it’s about in this music business. We all cross paths, and we make history connecting that love for music.”

He added: “Since I’m coming back home, we were like, ‘Let’s spread my talent and my greatness.’ I know everybody in the Universal system, and I can help the whole universal system, not just musically, but for TV, films, marketing. I have relationships with every artist. I have relationships with everybody behind the scenes, from A&Rs to executives to radio to marketing. I’m here to spread my talent. I feel like I can help everybody. … Lucian wanted me to add me to the team as a global creative consultant, and I was honored. Sir Lucian, if you look at his track record, he’s a big winner.”

In other news, Khaled is investing in education by offering full academic scholarships for students looking to attend Roc Nation School of Music, Sports and Entertainment at Long Island University.