During a recent interview with NPR’s David Greene to promote his new book, The Keys, DJ Khaled was asked to describe the night that he got lost at sea on his jet ski. This incident, which Khaled broadcast on Snapchat, occurred when he wanted to visit Rick Ross via boat just as the sun was setting near his Miami home. Using only the light from his dying cell phone, Khaled navigated dark waters and disobeyed the Coast Guard’s warnings to reach Ross’ house.
Internet historians will point to “The Jet Ski Snaps” as a moment that cemented Khaled’s place as a Snapchat superstar. From that day on, Khaled’s snaps became the focus of media articles, YouTube videos, and Access Hollywood featurettes. And, more than a year out, you’d think that Khaled would have a sense of humor or self-deprecation about getting lost.
Instead of being grateful for the experience, laughing at himself, or admitting he fucked up, Khaled connected getting lost at sea to the fact that he was trying to conceive a son at the time. It’s like he said, “I meant to do that.” After listening to the rambling, winding speech that doubles back over itself with extremely confusing and confident flair, it hit me who has the same speech patterns: Donald J. Trump.
Trump and Khaled have way too much in common. DJ Khaled has made an empire and millions of dollars by Snapchatting his mantras and personal beliefs. Donald Trump has become leader of the free world by tweeting his mantras and personal beliefs.
Where Donald Trump has “the best people,” 41-year old Khaled has “We the Best,” the official name of both his hit single and his music production company. Trump has “written” 15 books, where Khaled has “written” one book and produced nine albums. Both men tell us these stats on their social media often.
On a psychological level, the similarities are too scary. Trump and Khaled both see the world in black and white, good and bad, and winning and losing. Khaled’s hit single “All I Do Is Win” is certified triple platinum. Trump obsessively talks about winning and has even said, “My whole life has been about winning. I never lose.” Like Khaled with his jet-ski incident, when caught doing something wrong, Trump won’t admit it happened. If forced to admit that it did, because evidence is irrefutable, then it wasn’t his fault.
A Narcissist’s Prayer pic.twitter.com/fFScwrJ7o3— John Emerson (@backspace) January 15, 2017
It’s widely agreed in the mental health community that Donald Trump suffers from a “textbook case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder,” or NPD. Though experts base their diagnosis from Trump’s press conferences, tweets, and public persona, instead of private therapy sessions, Trump exhibits many NPD behaviors. His lack of empathy (mocking a disabled reporter), his grandiose sense of self-importance, his sense of entitlement and haughty behavior, and preoccupation with losers and haters are all classic examples.
DJ Khaled also exhibits some NPD traits, although many come across as inspirational or hilarious as opposed to Donald’s hateful, brooding demeanor. Khaled often brags about “cloth talk” sessions—private conversations with important people (the best people!). His obsession with “they,” a perceived group of antagonists who never want him or his fans to succeed, also fits the bill. “They don’t want us to succeed. So, we’re gonna succeed,” Khaled exclaimed on a recent Snap. Though his aphorisms emphasize positivity and “fan luv,” the explosive nature of his life is reminiscent of Trump’s.
Just take a look at Khaled’s recent Insta of his newborn son. The meandering paragraph of text reads Trump-like, and the idea that his son is the “executive producer” on his album is so self-serious that it’s funny.
Having a Chairman executive meeting wit ASAHD going over my new ALBUM .. going over what VOCALS came in and vocals that we waiting on as well the time line for all the anthems to be mix master as well album art and timeline to release the title of the album .. ASAHD IS TELLING ME WE MIGHT HAVE LET A FEW 🔑s go SOON .. MY SON IS THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR MY NEW ALBUM .. IM SO BLESSED TO BE BLESSED WIT ASAHD GREATNESS HES A GENUIS !! 🦁🔑 @wethebestmusic @epicrecords @rocnation
DJ Khaled and Donald Trump are two sides of the same coin. Both men “tell it like it is,” without saying anything much at all, other than they think highly of themselves. They fill social media with their advice, success stories, and braggadocious comments about how amazing their lives are. But, when it comes down to it, behind every snap and tweet, they seem pretty sad. Trump, up at 3:00 a.m. tweeting about how SNL spurned him hours earlier. Khaled, the star of hour-long Snap Stories where he’s the sole person in his mansion, blasting music and popping champagne alone in the night.
Most of us would probably take Khaled’s “Major Keys” over Trump’s “Sad!” if forced to choose one of these guys’ exaggerated takes on life’s little issues. And, at the end of the day, the viewers and media were the enablers of both of their recent meteoric resurgences. We just can’t get enough. With Khaled, I say Snap on. Just don’t take any of his advice too seriously as it’s based on an unrealistic world that we don’t live in. And, for Trump, psychologists believe the best way to shut down someone with NPD is to walk away. Unfortunately, the media, if doing its job, cannot ignore Trump for at least the next four years. For now, we should just “rest our greatness”—that’s what Khaled does, and it’s a major key.