In addition to joining in the recent trend of dissing Nicki Minaj hard, Rick Ross’ newest album “Rather You Than Me” may have just revealed one of hip hop’s biggest secrets: the identity of producer and musician DJ Khaled’s “they.”
Since 2015, Khaled (real name Khaled Mohamed Khaled) has frequently referenced an an unidentifiable “they” in his music — so frequently it’s practically become his catch phrase. For example: “They don’t want you to win.” “They don’t want you to have the number one record in the country.” “They don’t want you to exercise.” As far as Khaled is concerned, “they” don’t even want you to “enjoy lunch.”
So who is “they”? Naturally, listeners assumed the 41-year-old was making a general statement directed at all the haters. But thanks to a new diss track by rapper and DJ Khaled friend Rick Ross, the fans have decided they now know once and for all who “they” is — Cash Money Records founder Bryan “Birdman” Williams.
To wit, Ross’ track “Idols Become Rivals,” from his new album “Rather You Than Me,” beefs with Birdman in explicit terms. Here’s what Ross has to say in the song:
“And what hurt me the most, n–a
Is how you did my brother Khaled, n—a
Khaled was loyal to you, n—a
The pain I seen in my brother’s eye, n—a
FaceTimin’ my n—a, n—a, he took that to the chin, n—a
That’s why my n—a blessed
That’s why my n—a Khaled blessed
You put my n—a in the hole, homie
I don’t feel you for that, my n—a”
Birdman is well known for collaborations and business relationships that end with spectacular public fallings out. For example, his once surrogate father-son relationship with protege Lil’ Wayne ended spectacularly in 2015 and is still reportedly not mended.
DJ Khaled released three albums through Cash Money Records (jointly with his own label We the Best), but in 2015 – right around the time he suddenly became deeply concerned with the extent to which “they” is obsessed with cramping his style – Khaled confirmed he was no longer with that label.
Now, Khaled has never spoken ill of Birdman or Cash Money. In fact, even after ending his business relationship with the label, he’s insisted things are good. “It’s not like I’m here to promote that I’ve been off. No, I’m not that type of person,” he said during a Breakfast Club interview. “Lil Wayne and Birdman, that’s family. It’s still We the Best. Nothing negative, everything is beautiful.”
But never mind that. After Ross’ diss track dropped, fans of Khaled quickly drew a connection to Khaled and ran with the theory that “they” is Birdman. Here’s a sampling.