DJ Khaled on How He Got Jay Z on ‘Major Key’

The song "Major Keys" features both Jay Z and Future; getting Jay on a song and video is no simple feat, as Khaled explained.

By Rahul Lal

Hip-Hop star and social media personality DJ Khaled joined Elliott Wilson and Brian “B-Dot” Miller on Play.It’s Rap Radar podcast in anticipation of his new album, Major Key, which dropped today. The album is loaded with features from some of hip-hop’s biggest names and is sure to provide fans with some keys to success.

One of his favorite tracks on the album features one of hip-hop’s most recognizable names teaming up with quite possibly the most popular artist in the game right now — that would be Jay Z and Future, respectively — for the hit song “I Got The Keys.”

Related: DJ Khaled Drops ‘Do You Mind’ Ft. Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Future

“When me and Future cut records, we cut like four or five a night and that day he was rushing to fly out,” Khaled told Rap Radar. “I just love when he goes in and I don’t tell him what he has to do, I just let him go in. Even if it’s practice or takes or anything, I want it all and later, when he leaves, I’ll pick the parts I like and maneuver it, that’s how you work with Future.”

Once Khaled had already recorded Future’s portion of the song, he told Future of his intentions to get Jay Z on the track and wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“It’s hard to get Jay Z on a verse,” he explained, but said he was persistent. “I ain’t going nowhere, bro. If he getting something to eat, I’ll be right next door.”

Khaled has always had a special relationship with Jay Z, as he was offered his first label deal ten years ago. Most recently, Khaled was on tour with Jay’s wife, Beyonce.

“I play him the record and I’m vibing, you know, I got that eye so I’m looking to the side, I don’t want him to know I’m looking, and I see him vibing,” he said. “The first part is an instrumental so that’s when I’m really looking because, the great ones, that’s when they really just start going so I look and I just see him start rhyming in his head and mumbling…when the beat stopped, he’s just like, ‘Leave that for me.’”

The next day he got a message from Jay saying that the verse was done and that he had to come check it out. When Khaled arrived, he was in for quite the surprise as Jay spit the verse live for him.

“And then he laid the verse down, I’m ready, I’m good,” said Khaled. “But he’s not done, second verse. I said ‘What’s going on here, man?’ He’s like ‘I’m getting a second verse. Now, second verse coming out.'”

Most rappers have trouble just getting a single verse from Jay Z but Khaled got two and was going for something even bigger: a video.

“I was like ‘Yo Jigga, when you went on your tours, I’m sure you made music on tour and ideas came out on tour,’” he reasoned. “I don’t want to drop the song without the video.”

Jay wasn’t so quick to respond and had missed out on the chance to do a video with Khaled in the past.

“He didn’t say no but he didn’t say yes…I’m acting like he said yes.

After a few more days of letting Jay sit on the idea, he threw it out there again and decided to hold off on releasing the song until he could guarantee the video was on the way.

“When he started throwing ideas out, I knew we was getting close,” Khaled continued. “When he confirmed, we shot the video like two days after the confirmation – that’s how quick we shot the video.”

Khaled was sure to give Jay plenty of power as to both the direction and the vibe of the video and it paid off resulting in a star studded video expressing the power not only between the three artists on the track but also those who make cameos in the video such as Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Pusha T, A$AP Ferg, Swizz Beatz, Bryson Tiller, Fabolous, Yo Gotti, Busta Rhymes and T.I.

To listen to more detail about the album, listen to the latest episode of Rap Radar.

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