-By Claire Downs
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or crushed by the weight of your own iPhone 6 Plus), you know that living meme, DJ Khaled, is crushing it on SnapChat. From documenting his showers, to a jetski trip that got him lost at sea the mogul, producer, and Ciroc Apple Vodka spokesrapper has created his own vast vocabulary that is making its way into popular lingo.
Becoming a scholar of the Khaledian language isn’t easy. Many of Khaled’s Snap stories are nearly ten whole minutes long. At that length, they’re basically the Dr. Zhivago of Snapchat stories - long, too many characters, and with full interludes of just music.
Though his Snaps are sometimes just silly and lavish, Khaled genuinely seems like a good dude, interested in sharing his positive energy and motivational mantras with his fans and anybody who will listen.
So before the summer interns take over your office shouting “bless up!” and “major key!” just because Jo-Anne brought bagels, it’s time to study up. I present a glossary of DJ Khaled’s most used terms so you too can stop using last years’ “YASS QUEEN” and start declaring “LION!”
[emphasis on MAJOR]
This is the cornerstone of DJ Khaled’s catchphrases, and is the most common of his catchphrases. Usually accompanied by the ? key emoji (not to be confused with the ? skeleton key emoji, because skeletons are scary!), it’s used to signify something that will bring success to one’s life, as defined exclusively by Khaled. Sometimes Khaled also goes further to highlight something that is the “key to MORE success.” Either way he puts it, Khaled is telling us his secrets to working hard, believing in yourself and living a successful life.
Here are some real ways Khaled has used “Major key!”
“Major key, get a pedicure and manicure once a week!”
“Almond milk, cinnamon toast crunch, MAJOR key to success!”
“The key to success is to have a lot of pillows. A LOT!”
“The key is NOT to drive your jetski in the dark.”
“The key to success is to have a hammock!”
“They key is to have every key.”
That last one is a real thinker, kind of a Catch-22! “Major keys” can be issued to a variety of things, people, and ideas, including the time Khaled received an enormous supply of mouthwash from Listerine and a box of Dove soap and announced they both conveniently are also keys!
The villain of Khaled’s world, “They” are the “haters” that prevent one from achieving success. Often accompanied by the ? emoji, “they” are not welcome in Khaled’s home (he has a “They Not Welcome” mat at the door of his office). “They” can refer to people or just general adversarial aspects of life.
For example, Khaled has said “They don’t want you to be the biggest boss in the game!”
Here are some other things that “They” don’t want you to do, according to Khaled:
“They don’t want you to have a Rolls Royce”
“They don’t want you to break the App Store”
“They don’t want you to exercise”
“They don’t want you to have an amazing breakfast”
“They don’t want you to be on a jetski doin’ 360s”
A common sentence structure used by Khaled is to say “They don’t want me to ____ so I’m going to ____” For example, “They don’t want me to be on Jimmy Kimmel, so we’re gonna be on Jimmy Kimmel.”
?Bless Up! ?
Another Khaled favorite, “bless up!” Is a reminder to be grateful of the blessings you have, often accompanied by the ? emoji . DJ Khaled uses this to bless people, a new pair of sneakers, and most commonly, his flowers in his garden. “Look at these flowers! Bless up!” It can also be used to just end a sentence, like “To succeed you must believe...bless up.” It can further be used to tell others to express gratitude. “Be grateful of all you have! Bless up!” Khaled will sometimes dole out bonus gratitude by saying, “Bless up...give thanks...every day!”
? Lion, Lion Order, LIOOOONN!! ?
Fans of Khaled’s Snaps know that he has an impressive statue of a lion in his garden. Upon taking video of this lion statue, he will frequently exclaim, “LIOOON!” Sometimes, he will shout “lion order!” In Khaled’s own terms (via Tech Insider) he defines “lion” as, “The lion is the king of the jungle. But it gets deeper than that. Where I got lion order from was Rohan Marley, Bob Marley’s son. He always used to tell me 'lion order.' That means it’s a lion order. We are lions. Without him telling me lion order, I know it’s lion order because I’m a lion.” If you don’t know what he means by that, I don’t blame you. To sum up, it’s just generally fun to feel powerful and yell, “LIOOON!” Be careful, it might get you in trouble:
Secure Your Bag
A new addition to the Khaled language, “secure your bag” is a reminder to protect your money. It may be surprising to hear this kind of financial conservancy from someone who has a sneaker closet bigger than my first Brooklyn bedroom, and the top half of it is only accessible via library ladder, but hey, Khaled’s gotta keep us on our toes.
DJ Khaled is the biggest supporter of his fans! So if you’re reading this and you’re not already a fan, be prepared. Over half his snaps are just him pointing the camera at unsuspecting people and saying “Fan Luv!” You can also use this in your daily life to make your friends and family smile for photos with you.
How’s Business? BOOMIN’!!!
This question-and-response term is good to know, should Khaled ever cross your path for some “Fan Luv”. Pointing the camera at himself, he will ask “How’s business?” When he points the camera at you, the appropriate and ONLY response is to roar, “BOOMIN!”
An early Khaled term, originated in the opening to the “How Many Times” video featuring Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Big Sean.
Khaled loves to point out the momentum of good things in his life. “Another one” can be said to mark the frequency of something awesome happening to you, or to count the number of beers you have in your fridge. The important thing is to just keep saying “another one” over and over again.
Don’t Ever Play Yourself / You Played Yourself
Khaled’s “#1 Rule”, according to Khaled. If a person interacts with “they” or shortchanged their goals in some way, that person has “played themselves.” If Khaled has suspected a person has been tricked or swindled, they have played themselves.
Khaled recently said that if he finds the person who stole five of his sneakers (not sure why it’s an odd number), that he would give the sneakers back to the person and say “Congratulations. You played yourself.” (via Complex)
Celebrate Success Right, The Only Way, Apple Ciroc ?
Khaled’s a businessman, first and foremost. That’s why you will frequently see and hear him promoting Apple Ciroc Vodka. Not only does he feature the product on his snaps, he has perfected the vodka’s tagline “celebrate success right, the only way.” In your own life, Apple Ciroc may be hard to come by at the bar. That’s why I’ve taken to substituting other food and drink items to celebrate my success. Like “Celebrate success right. The only way. Pretzels!”
Khaled uses this to let us know he is in the middle of a very important business meeting with someone he feels is “cut from the same cloth” as he is. Sometimes alternated with “Mogul Talk,” it’s used to alert the fans that he may not be able to tell us the details of said meeting, but we should be aware that it’s definitely about money. Cloth Talk has occurred in bungalows, at basketball games, in his Rolls Royce Wraith, and in jacuzzis. In particular circumstances, Khaled will let us know that the occasion is “special cloth talk.”
And, let’s not forget the time Khaled Instagrammed about his meeting with the “CEO of iTunes.”
With these major keys! I hope you never play yourself and celebrate success right! Bless up ?! For more DJ Khaled fun, I recommend this DJ Khaled soundboard. Knowledge is ? the to more success! Fan Luv!