DJ Khaled scored the first No. 1 hit single of his career this year with the song “I’m The One.” The star-studded track comes from his soon-to-be-released 10th album Grateful, and features contributions from Chance The Rapper, Quavo, Lil Wayne, and Justin Bieber. As you might expect, putting together a team with that much star power was no easy feat, and as he relayed to Billboard in a cover story feature, he had to jump through some major hoops to get the Biebs to appear on the track.
Khaled got the beat from a producer named Let Me See You and as soon as he heard it he thought it’d be perfect for a Bieber feature. He made the call in January and played the tape for Justin in the singer’s truck, which Khaled recalled has, “stars in it, a reclining fur seat, sh*t like a movie.” Bieber was into the song, but before Khaled could go, he forced the Miami mogul to square off in a game of ground hockey. “I took the beating for the song,” Khaled said.
“His energy is infectious,” Bieber said in the piece. “He’s got an amazing ear for hits, and when I heard the beat for this track, [Bieber’s collaborator] Poo Bear and I decided to jump on and write the hook. Khaled is a good friend and a lot of fun to be around, and when he believes in something, he makes you believe.”
Elsewhere in the interview Khaled hit back at the charge that he doesn’t do anything on his albums. “Anybody who’s confused what Khaled does is an idiot,” he said. “I produce, I write, I orchestrate. I’m a mogul and one of the biggest DJs you’ve seen in your life. I’ll bust your ass on some turntables. You go to my Miami studio, you’ll be blinded by the shining of the [platinum and gold] plaques. What, you think my records get made magically?”
Khaled’s next album Grateful is set to drop later this month on June 23 and features appearances by Beyoncé, Jay Z, Drake, and Rihanna to name just a few.