If DJ Khaled is known for anything, it’s his ability to assemble stars on his records. His first No. 1 single, “I’m the One,” featured the likes of Justin Bieber, Quavo, and Chance the Rapper all in one place, and “Shining,” his song with Jay Z and Beyoncé, fits in that same vein.
During an interview with Ebro and the crew at Hot 97, Khaled dished on the outlandish path it took to get “Shining” made. He claims he had Jay Z in mind when he initially put the record together, and after a meeting with Jay, things were looking up.
“I had a meeting with [Jay] about some things, and I played Jigga the instrumental, because I wanted Jay Z on it, and I wanted to get a single on it,” he said. “I noticed that he liked it out of the gate. I could see it.”
That caused Khaled to get a little overzealous, and he figured he should shoot his shot. “I think you should play this for your wife too,'” Khaled says he told Jay, and that’s when Jay’s demeanor took a turn. “That’s when the face changed, like, ‘Yo my man, you doing too much.’ But I was like Jigga, trust me, there’s going to be a vibe.”
Though Jay appeared standoffish at the time, after a long and winding road involving a presentation at the ESPYs, Roc Nation after parties, and some stray discussions between Khaled, Jay, and Beyoncé, he eventually got his wish. Almost a year passed from the initial meeting—and Khaled was unsure if the song would get done at all—Khaled got a very important phone call the day before the Grammy Awards.
“Jay hit me up like, ‘Record done.’ I’m going to be honest, when I hear news like that, I shed tears, I shed good emotions,” he said. “I get to the crib, [Jay] played me the record, I went crazy. I’m hearing Beyoncé, I’m hearing Jigga, then he’s like, ‘Yo, we’re dropping this tomorrow night.’ I’m like Jay, I gotta mix the record, I gotta put my sprinkles, I gotta clear the sample, I gotta put a plan together… He’s like, ‘I know you ain’t trippin.'”
Aside from talking about his dream record with Jay and Beyoncé, Khaled also continued to talk about his relationship with Birdman. He doubled down on what he said in a recent interview on the subject, saying he believes in keeping a positive focus rather than trashing a former co-worker.
“I want to teach the world something. I got Drake on my album, I got Nicki Minaj album, I have Wayne on my album. It got approved, it got cleared, nobody blocked that,” said Khaled. “Even if it doesn’t go your way, it’s still an opportunity someone gave you. You might not like certain things, but it’s an opportunity, and the answer is to take your opportunity to the next level, and that’s what I did.”
You can watch the full interview up top, where Khaled tells his story in a way only Khaled can at the 12:50 mark.