In a wide-ranging interview, the music exec and producer opens up about finding balance in his life
DJ Khaled follows a particular schedule when he's not promoting an album — one that he'll openly break down for you, minute by minute, if you ask how life has been since the release of 2022's God Did.
After waking up at 7:30 a.m., Khaled, 47, hops out of the shower at 8:15 a.m. and gets dressed while spreading "that cocoa butter all over me" by 8:47 a.m., he says. Then he's out the door and headed to the golf course by 9:30 a.m. after kissing his whole family — partner Nicole Tuck, 47, and sons Asahd, 6½, and Aalam, 3 — goodbye.
"That's my routine on-cycle and off-cycle. Because there's only one cycle. It's called show gratitude in life every day," Khaled tells PEOPLE over Zoom.
"Even if you want to call it on-cycle or off-cycle, my life is making sure my kids are happy, making sure my queen is happy. And then after that, I do things to keep me inspired more because I'm inspired that they're happy. Every day I wake up, I show my gratitude to God and my kids and my wife. That's something I really do. I don't talk it. I live it."
During a call with PEOPLE to promote his latest venture, the Papa John's Doritos Cool Ranch Papadia, Khaled's eldest son can be heard shooting a few basketballs right next to him. "I just love seeing what he loves to do," he says of Asahd.
"Forget what I love to do. I love seeing what he loves to do and I support my kids in anything they want to do," Khaled adds. "And the beautiful thing is we like each other. We like some of the same things. Like father, like son. I like to golf. They like to golf. I like to play basketball. They like to play basketball. I like to go in the studio. They like to go in the studio. I guess that's it. That's in the DNA."
Since the release of God Did and the album's five Grammy nods, Khaled has been keeping his focus primarily on family life, improving his golf game, and a few partnerships — including his latest with Papa John's.
"I love Doritos. I love the Cool Ranch flavor. I have them in my studio. I have them in my kitchen. I've been eating Doritos for a long time. And I love pizza. You know what I'm saying? My idea is incredible," Khaled says of the tasty concoction, an idea he takes credit for in ad spots. "I always have great ideas, brother."
"A Papadia after 18 holes, unbelievable," Khaled adds of the post-golf treat.
Khaled may be the best, but he wants that energy to extend into all aspects of his life. In recent months, he's been eyeing golf greatness, and approaches the sport in two different ways.
For Khaled, there's "Let's Go Golfing" — essentially playing golf for nine holes, "eat a cheeseburger, take a break and do another nine holes" — and then there's "Let's Golf," which requires a bit more athletic ferociousness.
"Unfortunately, sometimes you bump into some of your beautiful friends that you want to play with and they want to Let's Golf," Khaled says. "And that's when we have to become war ready."
To prepare for war, Khaled has a special golf playlist separate from those less intense trips to the course where he golfs to Bob Marley's greatest hits. When it's time for "Let's Golf," Khaled says, it's a bit all over the place. One minute he'll be listening to himself, then Future, then JAY-Z's The Blueprint.
And it's those moments that have helped Khaled lose 15 lbs. on the course in recent months. "Some people go to yoga, some people go to the gym. And I love everybody's choices," he says. "Because I've been to yoga, I've been to the gym, but I play golf and it's been working for me. I love the game and I love what it's doing for me to move my body. I'm more flexible. That wasn't even me going into golf thinking I'm trying to get rid of weight. It naturally happened."
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Golfing, Khaled explains, allows him to stay "pure."
"And when you're pure, it's no better feeling. You ever worked out, and then after you take a shower and then you brush your teeth? You know what I'm saying? And you put that white tee on and you might put on something like comfortable shorts? That feeling," he says.
"It's just pure, it's just clean. I don't know how to explain it, man. I don't want to get too deep. Me, I'm always going to give it to you pure."
Even as he's improving his golf game and tapping Papa John's for his latest venture into purity, the Grammy winner isn't ruling out that next big hit. Currently working on music in the studio, and collaborating on that next batch of "anthems," Khaled is feeling inspired, especially after his 2023 Grammy performance alongside Lil Wayne, JAY-Z, Rick Ross, Fridayy and John Legend.
"My 13th album, it to be called God Did, and a No. 1 album, and it to be accepted as much as it was accepted and touched the world and different levels, it only inspired me to keep going," he tells PEOPLE.
"And I feel like we're just getting started. And I just felt like that accomplishment showed me, man, there's no limits to your blessings if you keep going and you keep putting that great work in that music that connects with people."
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