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Social media’s top sensation of the moment, DJ Khaled, is enjoying a rise in fame that begs for examination. Singlehandedly, DJ Khaled has made Snapchat his virtual playground while adding a certain amount of gravitas to his outsized personality. 

While Snapchat is seemingly a social media app geared towards younger users, the Miami-based Khaled has managed to command the platform like no other. Last week, we shared details of Khaled’s lost at sea adventure that went viral. While he’s been at his thing on Snapchat for a while, the daring jetski night trip might’ve catapulted Khaled to household name status.

The New York Times examined the DJ Khaled Snapchat phenomenon in a piece published Monday by Joe Caramanica.

Occasionally there is a marriage of artist and medium so perfect it trumps everything that came before: think Drake’s ability to anticipate and generate memes, or Rihanna’s early Instagram. But no one has mastered Snapchat — the outlet where publicly posted pictures and videos live for 24 hours, then disappear — like DJ Khaled, who has become a social media celebrity in a way that outpaces his musical fame. (His handle is @djkhaled305.) His effectiveness and addictiveness in the medium have elevated him from carnival barker to transcendent public figure. It’s not clear how many followers DJ Khaled has, but a screen grab of his Snapchat data he posted suggests that about two million people are seeing each post.

His Snapchat is a renewable source of relentless positivity, a kind of choose-your-own adventure motivational talk. It succeeds in the space between laugh-with and laugh-at; he endlessly replays the same scenes and motifs, a Groundhog Day of braggadocio and encouragement. His catchphrases — “Another one,” “Bless up,” “They don’t want you to … ” — have become a lingua franca. He is now the foremost user of the key emoji, and, in his discussions of “major keys of success,” has rescued that emoji from obscurity.

Read the rest of Caramanica’s fascinating piece by following this link.

Photo: Instagram