5 Reasons Why You Need To Read “THE KEYS” by DJ Khaled | Book Review

dj khaled the key book review - rana campbell

January 10, 2017 • Reflect

Once I graduated college – and stepped into this cold, mean, world – I knew that one of the only ways I was going to survive was to master self. My first step to do doing that was to figure out how the greats mastered their self and achieved their goals. I was on a quest to unearth THE KEYS to success.

That’s why I turned to books and haven’t looked back. Some of my early reads were Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Let’s fast forward a few years.

I’m a huge fan of DJ Khaled on Snapchat and have been following his journey as he’s become a social media star. Though others may think that he’s just another celebrity with an overblown ego – I admire him for what he has been able to accomplish and his marketing GENIUS. (He repeats himself for a reason….believe that.) If you follow him on Snapchat, I bet you know all of his favorite sayings.




I recently had the chance to review his new book The Keys and was highly impressed. I initially thought that it was going to be another one of those quick celebrity books that lack depth and true insight. However, this was not the case with The Keys. It is the perfect size and length for a morning commute or “before bed”  read. I read it in a few hours on a rainy day and didn’t want to put it down until I was done.

Here are three reasons why I think The Keys is a GREAT read and I recommend any SHINER or #DREAMDRIVER out there to add this to their personal collection.



If you want to know how Khaled got started and the major hurdles and challenges that he overcame to get where he is today, The Keys gives you a peek into the life and mind of the mogul- before he was a mogul. He talks about his journey to where he is today and keeps it 100% about the good times and the bad times.


We all need something to look up to and strive towards. One of the things that really stood out to this book that it was both inspirational and aspirational. There was alot discussed that any young aspiring mogul could use as motivation and also a lot that could help one create specific and actionable goals. While reading (and after), I was compelled to reflect on my own story. What does my journey look like? What are the keys that I’ve taken away from my own life? When you read it, I’m sure the same may happen for you too.


When telling your story, it’s important that you stay true to your personal voice and brand. The book, that was written along with writer Mary H. K. Choi – really sounds like DJ Khaled is personally telling YOU his story. Although it’s not an audio book, I read it in Khaled’s voice – which is great from a branding perspective. You really feel like it’s “storytime with Khaled”, which also made it a relaxing and enjoyable read.


The core message of the book revolves around the “keys” that Khaled explains in-depth. I especially like how the book is structured around these core philosophies that are relevant to all regardless of industry, background, or desire. Though they are the keys, they are also great life principles that can help ANYONE on their pathway to success. I guess that’s what really impresses me about this book…there is a universal appeal and a universal message that can inspire discussion and reflection post-read.

Here are the keys in case you want to know:

-Stay away from “they”
-Secure the bag
-Respect the code
-Believe in the hustle
-Win, win, win no matter what

Khaled also explains the origin of some of his signature sayings such as “Fan Luv”, “Bless Up”, and “Special Cloth.”



One of my favorite parts of the book is reading the “I remember when” excerpts from Khaled’s closest confidantes and industry comrades. It was interesting how many of these excerpts shared the theme: “The Khaled you see now is the same Khaled that always was.” I’m a firm believer of combing your network from time to time and asking for feedback. This really allows you to see if your perception of your brand and brand story aligns with the external perception. It’s also a great way to gauge your efforts and IMPACT. You can’t deny the impact that Khaled has had on the lives of those around him. It’s the type of IMPACT that I one day hope to have. Legacy is important. It’s what we’re all working to build.

THE LAST KEY: This book won’t give you step-by-step details for “making it”, but it does do a great job of showing the path and mindset that you need to be a WINNER. After reading the book, I truly realized that no one should ever want something for YOU more than you want it for yourself. You have to believe that you are worth it and that you are deserving of all that you want to see happen in your life.

You have to put in the work.

That’s the real key.

Beyond anything, success will take time.

Khaled’s success didn’t start the day he first got behind the turntables. His story starts decades ago in Miami when he first had the dream and decided he was going to do whatever to make it happen.

One of my only comments about the book was that I wish there was an “expert how-to” section. While I’m sure having Khaled really get technical in one area, might be better reserved for a masterclass/mastermind of some sort, it would have been a great addition!

So ask yourself have you started your #dreamdriving journey? Are you working on acquiring your own #keystosuccess?

If you haven’t and need something to ignite your engine, The Keys should be on your must-read list.

PS- Don’t forget to enter the giveaway and win a copy of the book! Click here to enter now.

Have you read The Keys yet?  Would love to know your thoughts!

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Rana Campbell is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Ranacampbell.com, a site dedicated to personal branding and helping people learn how to SHINE in their personal and professional lives.