Written Before Listen
DJ Khaled. The DJ known to not even DJ or produce his own music. What he does is grab a team of producers and put famous artists on the producers. He creates the most feature heavy album possible and that leads him to #1 for the majority of the time. Personally, I’m not big on the philosophy of DJ Khaleds music. It’s all about aiming for the charts instead of aiming for the respect. I’m coming into this with low expectations already but let’s see if my expectations exceed.
DJ Khaled isn’t known for his talent or even his production skills. He is known to be a machine. He gathers people he thinks could go together and create a track over a beat he thinks will go well with their style. Thats ok and all because that’s what the whole premise of Dr Dre, Statik Selektah and many more are based on. The problem comes when you start talking about how he does it. He doesn’t take unknown names and mixes them with big ones like Dr Dre. He doesn’t even produces the tracks either. He just gathers the biggest names possible and combines them. It also seems like He’s starting to decline in that aspect too. I cant take him seriously when he puts Justin Bieber and 21 Savage on the same track. It’s honestly irritating. Another thing thats irritating is the obvious performance drop of each artist. Most artists here underperform. You never hear someone give their best performance on a DJ Khaled track. It’s unfortunate because some of these feature combinations could go well if one artist had this song on their album and controlled what artistic decisions came from it.
Production Part 1:Mixing
There are two parts of the production I’d like to talk about. The first is the mixing. A lot of the beats are compressed to death due to the loudness war that goes on in the charts. DJ Khaled seems to be a believer in the “louder the better” philosophy. Personally, I think that whole thing Is overplayed unless you do it right. As a person who does produce his own music, I assure you that putting compression on everything won’t make your track automatically sound better. What does is layers, imaging and variety which DJ Khaled seems to lack. If DJ Khaled is the genius he proclaims to be, I feel like he should know when enough is enough.
Production Part 2:Samples
This next thing is something that DJ Khaled recently started doing. He’s starting to sample hip hop classics, Alongside a rock classic by sampling none other than “Layla” by Derek and the Dominoes. That track actually turns out to be “I DID IT” featuring a stacked lineup of Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby and DaBaby. Luckily everyone (mostly everyone) does a good job over this beat and doesn’t completely ruin the song. The album even opens with a JAY-Z sample on “THANKFUL” as we get an overly compressed and poorly mixed version of “Heart Of The City”. “THIS IS MY YEAR” is the next instance as we get a Biggie sample from the song “Long Kiss Goodnight” which was a great RZA beat but gets brutalized by trap drums, generic verses and an unnecessary Diddy rant. We didn’t like the Diddy rants then and we sure as hell don’t want them now. Not to mention that we already have an annoying yeller on the track with DJ Khaled. We don’t need two. “SORRY NOT SORRY” is a unique instance of this because we not only get another JAY-Z sample, but we get JAY-Z on the track itself. I also have to mention that Nas is on here too and getting a track from Nas & JAY-Z any day is a blessing. Unfortunately, the beat is compressed and both verses come off underwhelming. The next track has to be the most blasphemous. WE GET JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE OVER A GFK SAMPLE!!!!! WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HELL!?!?!? WHAT MADE YOU THINK IT WAS OK TO RUIN SUCH AN EMOTIONAL AND HEARTWARMING SONG BY HAVING A WASHED UP JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE SING OVER IT!?!?!? Yeah…this whole sample thing ticked me off as you can see. It’s not like I automatically discredit a song when it does this but these instances are awful. It honestly seems like Khaled misunderstands the point of the original song in the first place.
Last thing that I passionately dislike about this album is the appeal. It’s not appealing to last long. When I say long, I don’t mean 10 years from now. It’s more like 10 months from now. I know that we wont be bumping any of these songs once 2022 approaches. I will not be surprised to see at least some of these chart but I don’t see DJ Khaled getting any positive acclaim from this anytime soon. I usually like when an album comes with something fresh and new but every song on here usually doesn’t have that memory factor applied to it.
Every single track I thought was underwhelming and poorly cooked. Thats what I thought until the very last track. “Where You Come From” featuring Buju Banton, Capleton and Bounty Killer not only come with killer delivery but 9th Wonder himself comes with one heck of a beat. It’s a great blend of reggae and hip hop. Other than that, As expected, Khaled Khaled lacks originality or meaning.
Ok….This was awful. Like worse than that Trippie Redd album I reviewed this year. This was complete and utter trash. Rarely any redeeming qualities, no artistic statement or even enjoyability at an ignorant standpoint. This was nothing but a Billboard b___job.