DJ Khaled is one of the hottest producers and DJs in the world. His last two albums, 2016’s Major Key, and this year’s Grateful, have both gone to Number One on Billboard, thanks to his collaborations with Justin Bieber, Drake, and Rihanna. It’s prompted him to give himself a new nickname: Billboard Billy, which is certainly fitting for a guy who can do no wrong in the music world.
Besides his music, Khaled owns restaurants, real estate property, and a publishing company. He has more streams of income than you have fingers on your hands. He collects six-figure nightly fees for DJ gigs, and millions more from deals with Mentos, Champ Sports, Apple, and other brands, all arranged by himself and Jay-Z, who signed on as his manager last year. As Jay-Z wrote in a section of Khaled’s new book, The Keys, “What we are seeing from Khaled now is really who he is; the cameras are just capturing his natural state. That’s why the world is so drawn to him.”
In the past 12 months alone, he’s raked in over $24 million, which is more than enough for his crazy expensive car habit. You see, DJ Khaled only likes the finest things in life. His motto, “We the best,” really translates to all aspects of his life, including his car buying addiction. “You can want a Hyundai, if that’s what you want. Me, I want a Rolls-Royce,” he told Forbes. “That’s what I want, and that’s because we the best.”
He has a huge affinity for Rolls-Royce in particular. The company even sent his son, Asahd, a free Rolls-branded child seat when he was born. And as he told Forbes, when Asahd turns 16, “I’m getting him a Rolls-Royce out the gate.”
Here are 10 crazy expensive cars DJ Khaled owns, and 9 ways that he pays for them.
19 1991 BMW M3 ($30,000)
This was the first car DJ Khaled owned, back when he lived in Florida and started DJ’ing and selling mixtapes. He was just a teenager, but managed to make a down payment on a new $30,000 red BMW M3, in 1991, by his own admission.
He then tricked it out with a state-of-the-art speaker system. One day, he smelled smoke while cruising around Miami, and he stopped, thinking one of the amps had blown.
The car soon caught fire and melted. He then scaled down and bought a $12,000 Honda Civic. By 1995, he started to gain traction as a DJ and producer, and bought himself another M3—a blue one this time. He’s come a long way since those days!
18 2018 Range Rover Sport ($66,750)
DJ Khaled is clearly obsessed with high-luxury vehicles, especially ones with the Flying Lady on the hood (Rolls-Royce). As one of the only non-Rolls in his collection, he could definitely do much worse than a Range Rover Sport. In the SUV world, these are pretty high-class cars! The Range Rover Sport starts at $66,750, also making it one of his only cars that didn’t cost six digits to purchase. Ever since Britain first released this mid-size luxury SUV in 2004, it’s been very popular. The Sport is the second generation, first released in 2014, and Khaled owns one of the latest models.
17 2018 Cadillac Escalade ($75,195)
While the Range Rover Sport is nice and looks cool, when it comes to luxury, it simply can’t compare with the Cadillac Escalade. The Escalade is pretty much number one in terms of luxury SUVs that hip-hop moguls have to own. So, of course DJ Khaled owns one.
The first Escalade, from 1998, was identical to the 1999 GMC Yukon Denali. But when it was redesigned for the 2002 model year, falling in line with Cadillac’s “art and science” theme, that’s when it really became a big deal.
It was Cadillac’s first foray into the popular SUV market, and has been a top seller ever since. The fourth-generation Escalade, released in 2015, runs on a 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine, and costs $75,195 to buy.
16 2017 Rolls-Royce Wraith ($285,000)
With the lowly five-digit cars out of the way, let’s make room for the heavy hitters. First up, we have Khaled’s Arabian-blue 2017 Rolls-Royce Wraith. This beauty will run you $285,000, more than a quarter of a million. But, believe it or not, it’s actually the cheapest luxury car Khaled owns! DJ Khaled told Forbes in an interview, “I want the drop-top Dawn. I want a Wraith with stars on the roof. I want Phantoms with footrests to massage my toes.” And, sure enough, his Wraith has stars on the roof. The Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge, released in 2016, runs on a 6,592 cc twin-turbocharged V12 engine that is capable of 623 hp, making it a combination of class and speed.
15 2016 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II ($311,900)
The Rolls-Royce Ghost is next in DJ Khaled’s line-up of awesome luxury vehicles. The Ghost was named in honor of the Silver Ghost, a car produced in 1906. This one was released in 2009, designed as a “smaller, more measured, more realistic car” than the Phantom, according to Rolls-Royce.
It aimed for a “lower price category,” too, and a new one ONLY costs $311,900 to buy. To us, that’s a house. To DJ Khaled, that’s pocket change…or maybe piggy bank change.
His (not pictured here) is painted metallic-black, and is a Series II model, which were released in 2014. It comes with a new steering gear, and other technical modifications in a “Dynamic Driving Package,” aimed to make it a more involving driving experience.
14 2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn ($341,125)
Rolls-Royce has always had some pretty wicked, awesome names for their cars: Wraith, Phantom, Ghost… they all conjure up a similar image of an evil apparition. But the Dawn? Not so much. If anything, it conjures up an image of… hope? It’s an “open top” drive, according to Rolls-Royce, which just means it’s a convertible. Or, in DJ Khaled’s words, it’s a “drop top.” This luxury four-seater runs on a 6.6-liter direct-injection twin-turbo V12 engine, which gets 563 horsepower and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. It’s also pretty fast, and can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds. This is one of DJ Khaled’s favorite cars to drive around, and for good reason: it’s absolutely stunning.
13 2012 Maybach 57S ($417,402)
The Maybach 57 was the first car from the Maybach brand produced after the brand’s revival by DaimlerChrysler AG. It’s derived from the Benz-Maybach concept car from the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show.
In 2008, the Luxury Brand Status Index voted Maybach in at first place, ahead of Rolls-Royce or Bentley, so clearly DJ Khaled had to have one.
Unfortunately, production of the car ceased in 2012 due to continued financial losses, because sales were one-fifth the level of the profitable Rolls-Royce models. Still, the 57S is a keepsake and a beautiful car. It cost $417,402 new, but almost none of that value has been retained (also unfortunately), as a recent study saw that a 2008 Maybach lost $300,000 of value within 10 years.
12 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII ($450,000)
Over the past 12 months alone, DJ Khaled has raked in a reported $24 million. That’s more than enough to satiate his Rolls-Royce habit, but not by that much! Especially when considering the cars he likes to buy, like the brand new, $450,000 Phantom VIII. The average order price for this car is $600,000, because buyers like to bespoke their cars with all sorts of extras. And we’re guessing Khaled is no different. Khaled told Forbes, “I’m gonna be the first one to get it,” and he might not have been the first, but he was close. Rolls-Royce claimed the car had “the most silent” interior of any car in the world, and we don’t doubt it. Top Gear also called it the “2017 Luxury Car of the Year.”
11 2017 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe ($533,000)
The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe is currently the most expensive Rolls-Royce model, and most expensive car in its class, with an MSRP of $533,000. It’s arguably the most luxurious car in the world, and has been since first debuting at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
DJ Khaled’s comes equipped with Eames-chair-inspired seats and a dashboard “gallery” designed to accommodate slivers of bespoke artwork.
As he told Forbes in a very humbling way (sarcasm): “What I love about Rolls-Royce is, you look at me, it’s like you’re looking at a Rolls-Royce. It’s just powerful; it’s smooth; it’s iconic.” Good thing he has the music to back up that bold statement!
10 2012 Maybach Landaulet ($1,382,750)
The Maybach Landaulet is a convertible Maybach, that according to Car and Driver is “Way beyond mere luxury, this car is built for world-leader-grade egos.” It’s a giant-sized 62 model with an equally large fabric roof, and it costs more than $1 million to own. The Landaulet is an ultra-premium, hand-built 62 limousine, of which only a few were brought to the States. The car was limited in production from the get-go, with only about 20 first making it out of Europe and the Middle East. Eventually, in January 2009 it came to the United States, before shutting down production in 2012. It is the ultimate luxury machine, built for the ultimate luxury freaks. In that, DJ Khaled has found a great home for the ridiculously expensive car.
9 He Owns A Restaurant
Not all of DJ Khaled’s earnings come from his music, though the majority does. He also owns a restaurant called Finga Licking. The menu includes red velvet cake, fried chicken wings, grilled steak, shrimp croissants, and fried lobster. Its focus is on Southern comfort food, and the place does really good business.
Khaled knows that, at some point, he won’t be able to perform anymore, and he’ll still need multiple streams of income to keep his lifestyle intact.
Opening and owning a successful restaurant is one way to do that—and he’s done it by becoming famous, first, and then attaching his name to it, similar to how Mark Wahlberg and his family opened the Wahlburgers chain.
8 He Invests In Real Estate
Here’s another passive income stream that makes an absolute killing for DJ Khaled. Though he was born in Louisiana, he has spent a lot of time in Miami, and he has lots of love for the city. In the past, he’s invested in real estate there, which is a great idea if you have money and savvy to know what you’re doing. Khaled clearly has both those things. A lot of people that have a lot of money think they can stick with one thing forever, but Khaled knows the importance of diversification, and he’s always thinking of new ways to make big bucks.
7 He Surrounds Himself With The Right People
This is a bit more esoteric, in that it isn’t a concrete way he makes money, but it’s more of a life philosophy. DJ Khaled hangs out with all sorts of superstars, there’s no question about that, but he also has friends in high places from before he was famous.
He used to hang with Luther Campbell, also known as Uncle Luke, and the legendary members of 2 Live Crew. Campbell is one of the pioneers of rap, and him having a relationship with Khaled helped advance his career in a big way.
And, what goes around comes around, because now DJ Khaled is in a position to do what Luther Campbell did for him, and help other young bucks.
6 He Produces A Lot Of Music
This seems like an obvious one, but it’s an important distinction to know: there are some musicians who put out a hit and rest on their laurels. Then there are musicians like DJ Khaled who puts out a hit… then puts out another one, and another, and never stops. He isn’t just a DJ, he’s also a top-notch producer—one who everyone wants to work with. He doesn’t produce as much as he used to, but he still does. And when his DJ’ing career might stall, he can always fall back on producing for other big artists, which will net him a whole lot of money and credits as he gets older.
5 Performing at the Grammys (Headlining Festivals, Too)
One of the things that gives DJ Khaled serious exposure and allows him to indirectly sell his music is performing at the Grammys, and headlining festivals.
This year, he headlined the massive Wireless Festival in London, from July 6 to July 8. It sold out quick, and DJ Khaled was one of the headliners, alongside J. Cole, Cardi B, French Montana, and many others.
He also performed at the Grammys, which is not an event known to feature artists like Khaled. Through that he also made a ton of new fans, and will thus make more money.
4 Being The King Of Social Media
Social media is a great way to generate income in this day and age. The more famous you are, the richer you can become. So it’s no surprise that DJ Khaled absolutely owns the social media game. He uses all of the outlets to his advantage, using his social media stunts and updates to cause a stir among fans, increasing his popularity even more. He has 11.6 million Instagram followers, 3.5 million followers on Facebook, 4.1 million followers on Twitter. The newest one he’s mastered is Snapchat, where he stays very active and embraces the newness of technology. Khaled has basically become a living meme, which is a great way to stay relevant in this ever-changing world.
3 Racking Up Views On His Music Videos
DJ Khaled knows exactly what his audience wants, as evidenced by his mastery of social media. He also knows how to make great music videos, which is a lost art in this age.Back in the day, people spent all sorts of time and money making videos fantastic, but that seems to have disappeared. Well, not for Khaled. He’s a throwback to when music videos were great: he puts a lot of time and care in his products, and he really cares about the end result. He also features tons of superstar artists, which is just another way for him to stay on top and keep making money hand over fist.
2 He Receives A Lot Of Royalties
From all those production credits and co-features and writing credits and music videos, DJ Khaled has created a perfect storm of royalties. He has constant streams of income coming in thanks to his music.
Royalties are truly the most important aspect of making money in the music industry.
He gets royalties for pretty much everything he does: whether that’s performing somewhere live, or every time his songs play on the radio, or one of his client’s songs. Over the years, those royalties add up, so later on in life, he can really just sit back and collect the checks. But we doubt he’ll ever do that, given his drive.
1 His Cars Appreciate In Value
Finally, one of the big ways that DJ Khaled can afford his insanely expensive car collection is simply sitting on the cars. The ones he buys seem to appreciate in value, rather than depreciate, because he buys luxury collectibles. Other than the Maybachs, which seem to lose a lot of value over the years, Rolls-Royces especially accrue appreciation every year. That means that, in the future, his car collection might be paying for itself! He can buy a luxury car, sell it off for more than he bought it for, and then buy a whole new one with the proceeds. It’s a long haul, but it’s something Khaled can always fall back on, if all else fails.
Sources: forbes.com, caranddriver.com, millionairessaying.com