When you hear the ever animated DJ Khaled bellow out his signature catchphrase We the best! on his various hit records, youre not hearing an empty catchphrase, but the slogan by which the man exemplifies his career. Since 2006, Khaled has ridden the wave of his albums (Listennn…The Album, We The Best) and their various all-star posse-cut compilations (Holla at Me, Im So Hood, Out Here Grindin) from the DJ booth to fledgling boardroom executive. Now just a few short weeks away from the release of his third LP, We Global, Khaled explains the methods behind his planned worldwide takeover.AllHipHop.com Your new album We Global is scheduled to drop September 16. What direction were you looking to take on this album from your previous efforts?Khaled: The direction was just to go harder and bigger out here with these records. Out Here Grindin is another huge street anthem. I got the whole hood representing it. Im collaborating with the biggest hood stars and street artists in the game all on one record. Ive got Ricky Ross, Plies, Boosie, Akon, Ace Hood, and Trick Daddy. This is just straight out the projects! Thats what I rep.And the new single Go Hard features T-Pain and Kanye West. And that [one], I can retire after that! I got Game on the record, [and] Nas. I got everyone! So basically the direction is to go harderDJ Khaled f/ Akon, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Lil Boosie, Plies, Ace Hood, and Trick Daddy “Out Here Grindin'” VideoAllHipHop.com: Youve been with Koch Records releasing major albums since about 2006. Whats the biggest benefit of working with them as opposed to smaller or bigger labels?Khaled: With Koch theyre hungry and see my vision. And theres no hate, when I want to do something they say, Lets go. They work hard and are very hands on. And my work with them helped me get a huge label deal with Def Jam.AllHipHop.com: Of course Def Jam is a name thats synonymous with Hip-Hop, but many artists there have expressed discontent with the way their projects were handled. What made you feel comfortable partnering We the Best Music with them?Khaled: First of all Im a fan of Def Jam and its artists. I grew up listening to Run-DMC [Ed. Note: Run-DMC was on Profile, though managed by Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons] and LL Cool J. Now you have Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Rick Ross. Theres so many artists that theyve done well with, so to be under that umbrella is just a beautiful thing for my brand. LA Reid, I look up to him as a boss and somebody in the game that loves the music and the work. Signing my first artist Ace Hood was a true dream come true for me.AllHipHop.com: How did you hook up with Ace Hood and how has the creative process for his album been going?Khaled: We hooked up in Miami. He brought his music to the station while I was late on my way to work in the parking lot. I seen him and he looked like a star. So when I got his CD I told him and Ill call him later after Id listened to it. So after work I jumped in that Phantom and started bumping his music and I heard the hunger in his voice. So I called him and said, Yo, Im going to send you Im So Hood, lets see you rap over it. And he ripped it down.DJ Khaled f/ T-Pain, Trick Daddy, Rick Ross & Plies “I’m So Hood” VideoAllHipHop.com: Now a lot of up and coming artists would love to work with you as well. For everyone out there, what would be the top three things from an aspiring artist that would catch your eye and make you want to sign them?Khaled: The style or swag, the presence when they walk in a room, and their hunger and work ethic.AllHipHop.com: Right now you have a winning formula with the posse cuts. So far, theyve pretty much been your lane exclusively for the last couple albums. As an artist do you subscribe to maintaining the formula as long as it works, or taking risks with your art?Khaled: My formula is my team. Youre always going to hear me do records with Ross, Ace Hood, Trick Daddy, Fat Joe, Akon, T-Pain, and Jeezy simply because Im a fan of them and so are you. We make great music. But youre also going to hear me do different things like Go Hard with T-Pain and Kanye.I believe in making hit records. And when Im in the studio Im on it and I feel these guys have to be on it. And by the way, everyone loves the same guys [artists] I like (laughs) as artists, no homo.Go Hard (Feat. Kanye West & T-Pain) – DJ KhaledAllHipHop.com: A lot of people were thrown off by the collaboration you have with Nas on the album (Im On). I know youve known him for a couple years through Fat Joe. Talk a little bit about how that project came about.Khaled: I called and told him I wanted to do a Hate Me Now but a little different. It was just time for us to do something. We always wanted to work together throughout the years. Somehow the record got leaked and it really pissed me off because I wanted it to be a surprise. Its a big record. Nas is spitting that fire; talking about drinking champagne out of a beer can. Hes going in. Its Nas! Hes a legend.AllHipHop.com: When youre in the studio with all these different artists, do you have to offer a lot of direction or does everything just flow when the beats come on?Khaled: I always come to them with the concept, beat, and chorus. And when Im in the studio I bring a certain energy and get the best out of all the artists. Theyll tell you themselves Im passionate about my music. I’m On – NasAllHipHop.com: Under your Beat Novacaine producer name you also have a lot of production credits. Every producer has their own habits and patterns, so is there anything in particular that you do when coming up with the arrangements and rhythms for your music?Khaled: When I make my own beats they be real cinematic and theatrical and hard. [But] when I get with other producers like The Runners or Danja I always give them passion and they deliver it to another level. So it really depends on what direction I want to go in at that time.AllHipHop.com: Being that youre a cornerstone of the Terror Squad, can we expect another album from you guys?Khaled: Joes working on a Terror Squad album now. You know, we make hits!AllHipHop.com: A lot has been made recently about the status the DJ has now in Hip-Hop. Some people say the DJ is dead while others say thats ridiculous and the DJ has more power now then theyve ever had. As someone whos made their name as a DJ, whats your opinion on that?Khaled: Everyone has an opinion but the DJ is definitely not dead, and Im living proof of that. The DJ is involved in a lot of different situations. A DJ can become an executive, promoter, program director, A&R, or producer. DJs are in the heart of the music.AllHipHop.com: As a producer and DJ youre really close to the music and can feel trends are theyre developing. Where do you see the culture going lyrically, production-wise, and business-wise?Khaled: Business-wise itll go even more independent because major labels want artists to be CEOs and do all the work. They piggyback off it and then put the steroids in you once youre hot. Lyrics will always be there. Thats why only certain people can be legends. Production-wise itll get crazier because sounds are changing every month and theres crazy talented producers out there. I love Drumma Boy, The Runners, Danja, Infamous, and J-Roc.AllHipHop.com: Lets have you weigh in on the ringtone vs. album debate. Youre an artist that sells well on both fronts. Do you feel the importance of ringtone sales have diminished the viability of albums, or do you think LPs are still relevant in todays market?Khaled: You got to remember if you have a big ringtone record you got a hit record and youre a hit artist. Are you a one hit wonder? It depends on that one artist. For me I make big ringtone records and record sales. The sales come when people buy into you and want to be a part of your career. A real fan is going to buy your record and support you.AllHipHop.com: Theres been a huge backlash against artists whose personas dont coincide with their backgrounds. Is this because fans themselves are getting too caught up in the images, or because artists arent making a clear distinction between their entertainment personas and their real lives?Khaled: The problem with the fans is that theres not enough time for artist development. Record companies arent doing it because they dont want to spend the money. Thats why as an artist you have to be the CEO and go hard and not get mad at the record company but work with the new system. And the new system is get yourself hot. Go out there and grind and make them want to help you. The name of the game is to be relevant. If you have a hot record and youre out there doing shows, going on TV, youre relevant so that means you can make another record. Theres plenty of artists that cant sell a lot of records but are millionaires because they do shows every single day and have a huge fanbase. Why they didnt sell records itll be a mystery but the next one might hit. Its just the game its a recession.AllHipHop.com: Watching you perform its obvious you really enjoy being an artist. Now that youre moving into the business side do you ever see yourself retiring from music like other artists have done, or do you see it always being a part of you?Khaled: I cant say that now but I definitely know Ill be going more into the business side because thats what I do. I am the brand and now I can spread it to Ace Hood and my other team members.