It’s good to see Nardwuar back on his feet bestowing amazingly specific gifts upon unsuspecting artists. In the latest installment of his interview series he caught up with producer, Snapchat all-star, and professional buffoon DJ Khaled in Austin during SXSW last week. It was Khaled’s first time at the festival, and he co-headlined with Nas at Mass Appeal’s SXSW showcase.
As of recent, it’s been hard for me to remember that Khaled actually makes music since he blew up for his Snapchat antics and has been doing a bunch of television interviews based off of that weirdly entertaining persona. Dude even had an island in Belize named after him. His music has never been that particularly good to me, and the Snapchat persona is annoying as hell in my opinion, but Nardwuar’s interview is a reminder that the producer actually knows music and pays homage to hip-hop culture.
Khaled had something astute to say about every piece of niche memorabilia that the serviette pulled out for him. It takes a minute to get past all the “don’t play yourself” and “major key” nonsense, but once he does he waxes nostalgic about his Miami roots with DJ Uncle Al, rattles off Public Enemy deep cuts and lyrics off the top of his head, and talks about how songs from the Juice Crew’s Cold Chillin’ inspired his biggest hit “I’m So Hood.” He even talks about how as you DJ you need to be able to touch real vinyl for proper scratching and mixing, and his mixtape hustle slipping tapes in shoes while working at Champ’s Sports in Dade County. It sucks that he couldn’t blow up off of this more substantive stuff and hides it all to fit in on some high school shit, but props to Nardwuar for bringing it out of him. Watch.
Also, Meredith Graves likes this side of DJ Khaled too:
— meredith graves (@gravesmeredith) March 22, 2016