Is DJ Khaled an Unlikable Character?

I’m not one to discuss music industry drama unless it’s within Facebook Messenger with my friends; most times, I just don’t see the point. But I will take pretty much any chance to relate music and other aspects of pop culture to critical theories, methods, and concepts. I really don’t have an opinion on this situation and I honestly don’t understand it enough to have one (and I’m too lazy too look that deep into it tbh). I’m saying all of this to say, this is nothing against DJ Khaled. I’m not overly concerned with DJ Khaled or Tyler, the Creator (even though I am a Tyler fan).

DJ Khaled is an unlikable character. In literature, film and television, characters are often written to be likable. This means that they are written with a certain air of charisma and charm, that they have flaws that make them relatable and, most often, that they’re attractive. Writers try to make characters likable so that the audience is invested in their story. Unlikable characters are often mistakes. Unlikable characters have unlikable qualities. Picture a villain like Loki. He’s a likable character because even though he’s literally trying to destroy the earth, he’s funny and we understand his motivations to a certain extent. He’s adopted and felt like the shunned member of his family. If Loki was a character that had no sense of humor and literally no reason for wanting to harm others, we would like him a lot less.

Now, DJ Khaled.

DJ Khaled often portrays himself as a happy go lucky sort of guy and outside of music, he was so likable that he became a meme. Many people don’t like DJ Khaled for his music and let’s be honest, it seems like the work that Khaled does in terms of his music is minimal. We like him because he puts his son on the forefront, clearly becoming a father was one of the best accomplishments of his life and he never lets us forget that. We love that about him. The latest news about his beef with Tyler, the Creator and/or Billboard definitely paints a picture of him that is different than what we’ve seen previously. It makes him seem like a person that doesn’t love everyone if that means that he is somehow losing or at a disadvantage. Even so, in the eyes of others he simply caused a ruckus because things were misinterpreted or misreported and an Instagram video was the best way to call attention to it?

However, I don’t think that this incident makes DJ Khaled this unlikable character that people seem to be painting him as. The decision that a character is unlikable does not have to unanimous (because how often is anything unanimous nowadays?), but it does have to be proven. And honestly, I don’t see the proof. Some of the most likable artists out have an even smaller role in creating their own music and have raised hell for less. I’m not saying that it’s right that those artists remain likable, but its a fact that they have. Does this recent squabble mean that DJ Khaled will stop watering his plants or working out? No. Does it mean that his next album won’t be called “Asahd” with an oil painting of his son as the cover? No. I don’t think he just transitions to being a completely unlikable character based on this incident.

Azaria Brown