News: DJ Khaled Credits Jail For Sparking Miami Takeover, "It Woke Me Up"

Monday, Mar 26, 2012 2:30PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Miami's DJ Khaled recently discussed his come-up and why doing time behind bars actually helped him reach the amount of success he is able to enjoy today.

Reflecting on his pre-fame days, Khaled expresses that doing time for a charge he had in Orlando, FL ultimately led him to changing his life around and settling in Miami for good.

For a time, Khaled lived with his girlfriend's mother, sleeping on the floor. He then went to her father's, then to his car and, when he had money, cheap motels. He was also back and forth to New Orleans--working at a record store, forming a friendship with Cash Money's Birdman back when the future stunna was still selling cassette tapes from his trunk--until he was jailed for about a month and a half for repeatedly driving with a suspended license. "I used to go to jail every weekend in Orlando," he recalls. "I had a court date in Orlando--flew [in] from New Orleans. I didn't know I was gonna go to jail when I went to court. You don't expect that. You go to court thinking it's going to be another fine, go to school. But the judge was like, 'You not learning your lesson. You keep driving.' It woke me up. I'm glad it happened. The day I got out is the day I moved to Miami." (VIBE)

Back in 2010, Terror Squad's Fat Joe talked about helping put Khaled in the rap game.

"We passed him the baton and let him go," Crack said about Khaled. "What we do is try to help our brothers grow. He took it from there and he's got the 'We The Best' thing and he's doing his thing. I'm proud of him and we want him to do well. It's just, you know, that's how it is man. There are people who do things and there's a lot of people givien out opportunities. Some people take it and go all the way with it and try to create history and some people are passive and don't wanna work as hard and they take the same opportunities and sit on they a** and don't do it. Khaled was the go-getter, he went up there and did what he had to do." (Ozone Magazine)

A year prior, Joey Crack opened up on Khaled becoming Def Jam South president.

"No one has ever seen an executive like DJ Khaled," Joe said in an interview. "Everybody in the music business who's an executive has been polished for the job. Khaled comes with the energy that hasn't been seen in this game, ever, from the day that f*cking Lyor Cohen and Russell Simmons opened Def Jam! He's going to put out nothing but hits. And I expect him to be one of the biggest executives in a couple of years, the hip-hop game has ever seen. I guarantee he's going to be an executive of a lifetime. Remember I told you." (Complex)

Not only respected in the hip-hop community, Khaled previously received a co-sign to become Def Jam president courtesy of co-founder Russell Simmons.

The business mogul and co-founder of the historic hip-hop label told XXLMag.com that he thinks the Murder Inc founder would be one of three candidates fit for the job. "I like Irv [Gotti]," Simmons said. "I'd co-sign him. I like a lot of people lobbying. I like Irv, I like [DJ] Khaled. I'd co-sign [Violator Management President] Chris Lighty. These three people, I'd co-sign any of them in a second." Gotti hasn't been shy about throwing his name in the mix for the job, persistently mentioning that he would be the right man for the gig over the last few months. (XXL Mag)

Check out some recent DJ Khaled footage below:

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