DJ Khaled has given a shout out to his Middle Eastern fans.
The popular hip-hop artist and producer recorded a special video for the region as part of his promotion campaign for his latest album Father of Asahd.
In one of the few occasions in his career, DJ Khaled — real name Khaled Mohamed Khaled — uses the video to addresses his Palestinian roots. Recorded in the midst of a flight in a private jet, Khaled’s video is catered to his regional fans.
"This is DJ Khaled and big up to the Middle East," he begins. "You know I am Palestinian. That's right, Palestinian. My mother is from Ramallah and father is from Mazra'a ash-Sharqiya. Big up Jerusalem. My album is available right now and it is called Father of Asahd. Abu Asahd (Father of Asahd in Arabic). Middle East, this one is for us."
The 43-year-old was born in New Orleans to Palestinian parents who immigrated to the US. He got his foot in the industry through his DJ work and hosting gigs on radio. One of the first monikers Khaled used was Arab Attack, a name he dropped after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Not long after, he returned with the name DJ Khaled and has been a chart-topping success ever since.
The new album
Released on May 17, Khaled’s album has already gained a lot of attention courtesy of tracks featuring the cream of the hip-hop crop.
The first single, Top Off, was released as far back as March last year and features Jay Z, Beyonce and Future. The follow up, No Brainer, had Khaled joined by Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Quavo.
It is his latest single, however, that is making a major impact within the hip-hop community.
Released on May 17, the soulful number features John Legend and Nipsey Hussle, the latter rapper killed in a Los Angeles shooting on May 31. In a post shared on social media, Khaled described the song as part "of a soul searching journey" and pledged to donate proceedings from the single to Hussle’s two children.
Arabs in hip-hop
Khaled is by far the highest profile Arab in the hip-hop world. However, he is joined by a growing number of talent from the region. Here are three other artists to know:
Born Karim Kharbouch, his family hails from Morocco. Montana emigrated to the US as a teenager, working his way up from creating mixtapes to becoming one of the biggest names in the music industry. He collaborated with the likes of P Diddy and DJ Khaled. His recently appeared as guest artist on Jennifer Lopez's new single Medicine.
Shebib is the man behind superstar Drake's success. The Lebanese-Canadian produced all his albums and his signature soulful and ambient sounds has been copied by a new generation of beat-makers.
Real name Farid Nassar, the Palestinian-American studied under the feet of one of hip-hop’s great masters. Fredwreck perfected his craft as part of Dr Dre's in-house production team in 2001 before going to work with the likes of rappers Snoop Dogg and Xzibit as well as with pop stars Britney Spears and Hillary Duff.