To anyone under the age of 25, he’s a demigod, but those older may only be dimly aware of exactly who DJ Khaled is.
Let me educate you: he’s a 42-year-old sort of producer/A&R/rapper from New Orleans who’s released ten albums in 12 years, with the last two hitting the top spot in the US, despite the fact that he apparently doesn’t seem to actually do anything hands-on musically. Oh, other than loudly shout ‘DJ KHALED’, ‘ANOTHER ONE’ and ‘THE BEST MUSIC’ over the top of his tracks (yeah you know who this guy is now don’t you).
Does this matter? Some say no:
So, y’know, horses for courses I guess - genius or idiot, or maybe a bit of both.
He is also a massive Instagram presence (literally and metaphorically), dispensing ‘inspirational’ advice to his 11.2m on an hourly basis - his position as a major influencer cemented after becoming a major player in the early days of Snapchat.
And one thing that he is very, very good at is leveraging that position to do as many product placements as humanly possible.
We’ve all accepted that product placements are a thing now and no one really cares any more - in fact, I documented the worst music video product placements fully five years ago (and who could forget the classic of the genre - The Saturdays’ Ice Watch endorsement) - but on DJ Khaled’s new single, he really goes all in. Those previous placements look like subtle, fleeting glimpses of mild ‘brand alignment’ compared to the full-on 2018 CAPITALISM AND MATERIALISM IS ABSOLUTELY THE ONLY THING WORTH BELIEVING IN that is this music video.
It is - how to put this delicately? - an absolute joke.
Behold, the music video for ‘No Brainer’ by DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo and Chance the Rapper:
Let’s go through this, one officially-endorsed product at a time.
1. Belaire (45 seconds)
A relatively restrained 45 seconds before our first obvious bit of product placement, with a really subtle, background shot of some Luc Belaire gold sparkling wine.
2. Vaping (48 seconds)
Hmmm, this lady really seems to be enjoying her vape here - I wonder why the director chose to linger on it for no apparent reason? Must just have been an artistic decision.
3. Rich cigars (56 seconds)
Here’s Khaled - just by chance, probably - puffing away and really bloody enjoying edging that tiny bit closer to a cancery end with each puff of Rich cigar. The camera must have accidentally caught him between takes.
(On a side note, apparently in December, the company decided to leave the cigar industry and embrace cryptocurrency which, considering that period was at the absolute peak of the crypto bubble, with Bitcoin and the rest crashing shortly afterwards, is absolutely hilarious. Presumably they’re back in the cigar game now which is probably wise for a company that makes cigars.)
4. Bumbu (1:08)
We’re not sure if you can spot it, but there’s a really low-key placement of Bumbu rum in this bit of the video - the perfect drink to mix with your Belaire gold.
5. Kandy Pens (1:13)
Ah, now it makes sense! The lady was enjoying her vape because she was enjoying the wares of the award-winning Arizona-based vape manufacturer KandyPens which, if you squint, can be seen in the frame above.
6. Ciroc (1:32)
You’ll really have to concentrate to spot this one but around the minute and a half mark, Khaled can be seen - and honestly it’s so subtle it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment - holding a bottle of Ciroc Apple.
7. Some sort of e-cigar (1:52)
Whoops! The camera caught naughty Khaled smoking some sort of e-cigar. That won’t make the final cut of the video, I’m sure.
8. Belaire (1:53)
What are the chances? These three ladies all enjoying different products from Belaire - they must have just happened to have brought them along on the day of the shoot.
9. Ciroc (2:15)
Here’s a nice lady bringing some refreshments along for the cast and crew. And, blimey what a coincidence! It’s Ciroc vodka. Go easy though guys, we’ve got a four minute long alcohol and tobacco commercial, SORRY, music video to finish filming first!
10. Camtec (2:46)
Have Camtec paid to have their cameras featured? Who knows, maybe they’re industry standard and their logos appear prominently several times by pure chance.
11. Fashion Nova (2:54)
OK, I’m starting to think that a lot of these products don’t actually fit into the artistic narrative of the video here. I’m starting to think - and please stop me if you disagree, reader - that fashionnova.com may have given DJ Khaled some money to feature a golf buggy with their logo and some bags with fashionnova.com written on them. Call me a cynic but I’m starting to think that commerce may have somehow influenced this video.
12. Homebase (3:12)
OK, all bets are off - I reckon Homebase got in on the act, offering a few trees in exchange for some precious screentime.
13. Genie Cranes (3:13)
How much did Khaled get for whacking that crane in the background, d’you reckon?
14. The sky (3:26)
It’s had some big competition from the land and the sea recently, so I’m pretty sure the sky got on the phone to Khaled and dropped some $$$ on upping its profile.
15. Ciroc (3:34)
I’m suddenly feeling really thirsty and only a Ciroc vodka will do the job.
16. IKEA (3:37)
I used to have one of those until it died, you can never resist it once you’re in the pots, pans and foliage section at the end can you? Khaled got this one for free I bet, the bastard.
17. Belaire (3:39)
18. Ryness (3:42)
That light thing in the background? That’s a Ryness special I’m sure of it. I bet Khaled got a job lot of low energy bulbs too.
19. Homebase (3:44)
Bloody hell Homebase really went for it didn’t they? It’s extravagant spending on hip hop videos that explains why the company’s in dire financial straits.
20. ASDA Glass Hire (3:48)
Those glasses? On loan (for free, natch) from ASDA mate.
21. B&Q (3:49)
Stepladders at the back, courtesy of B&Q.
22. Fashion Nova (4:01)
Only one place I’m buying my clothes from now.
23. www.balloonsgalore.co.uk (4:07)
Pay £7.95 (plus delivery) for a helium balloon? Don’t be so silly, Khaled will get it for free!
Seriously, what an absolutely average song.
Well done everyone!