DJ Khaled on Positive Self-Talk

The braggadocios flair of hip-hop moguls is cliché and predictable. Whether it’s the MTV Cribs-esqe description of their “icy” jewellery or their insatiable need to tell you how revolutionary their newly installed car doors are, most hip-hop stars have a way of appearing overbearing.

DJ Khaled isn’t an exception. In fact, he’s the poster boy.

Take Mr. Khaled’s 15-second Instagram videos— or even his 15-minute interviews on ESPN— as an example of this overbearing self-marketing scheme. But when you strip away the gold chains, platinum plaques and the albums with incredibly pretentious titles — like Kiss the Ring or We the Best Forever — DJ Khaled’s self-marketing is a form of self-regulation.

The one-stop shop for creating records that top the music charts was born in New Orleans to Palestinian parents, and over the years Khaled has instilled a sense of unity in a genre known for its competitive spirit. In an interview with Larry King, DJ Khaled was dubbed the “Anthem King” by the legendary TV personality, and for good reason as Khaled has reshaped both hip-hop music and culture.

It seems like DJ Khaled’s music is hip-hop’s fireplace — a meeting place for artists who are looking for a surefire way of heating up the Billboard charts.

Most notable for his short speeches in the introductions of songs and interludes between tracks, Khaled has a way of changing listeners’ moods with his voice.

In a recent interview, radio personality Angie Martinez encouraged DJ Khaled to pursue a motivational speaking career once he enters his golden years. DJ Khaled responded:

“I know it’s motivational and it’s all from the heart, from my soul. Sometimes I have to talk to myself and motivate myself.”

This might sound nauseating — a Grammy-winning artist who tells himself how great he is to start his day — but it’s a bit more complex than that. Numerous published studies show the cognitive benefits of engaging in self-dialogue.

University of Illinois researchers discovered that self-dialogue can positively affect attitudes and performance. When engaging in self-talk, the second person pronoun of ‘you’ is much more effective at improving “task performance” and “behavioural intentions” than ‘I’.

Angie Martinez: “Do you talk to yourself at home? What do you say to yourself when you look at yourself in the mirror at home?”

Khaled: “‘You the greatest and that is that’. So when I start my day, I’m ready. I have my mind right.”

It’s no secret that your attitude can affect performance. Try completing a tedious task after hearing terrible news. The task might seem exponentially more challenging when you don’t have an appropriate attitude and mindset. Often we let others affect our attitudes and mindset as well. A pessimistic comment from a colleague or an uncooperative friend can greatly impact your outlook for the rest of the day.

Try following DJ Khaled’s example and incorporate self-dialogue into your morning routine. Instead of using the first-person pronoun “I” when speaking to yourself, start using the second-person “you” — which has proven to be more effective.

Speaking to yourself doesn’t have to be a source of embarrassment anymore. Now, self-dialogue can influence the way you think and react to unfavourable situations.

All of a sudden, DJ Khaled doesn’t sound so crazy, does he?


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Image Credit:

Akhil Shiv Kumar

About Akhil Shiv Kumar

Akhil Shiv Kumar is an English student at Ryerson University. His writing focuses on athletes, social activists and people you might have never heard of. If you like, or even dislike, Akhil’s writing, go ahead and let him know on Twitter @akhilshivkumar.