Music Reviews
Major Key

DJ Khaled Major Key

(Epic Records) Buy it from Insound Rating - 5/10

There is something strangely spectacular about the way DJ Khaled has captivated the hip hop scene and its outliers in recent years. Through multiple albums jam packed with some of the genre’s biggest names, an appallingly gravitational social media presence, and, most importantly, a genuinely welcoming, charismatic personality that is brought to life in some of the most entertaining interviews the internet has to offer, Khaled has made himself an undeniable household name.

Unfortunately, that extraordinary personality, Khaled’s best tool, does not quite get a chance to be put to use on his albums. Yes, he is listed in the cluttered writing credits and some production credits, but he is not exactly a rapper, and, as far as the beats go, they don’t exactly bring home the trophy.

Besides shouting catch phrases at the beginning and end of each track, Khaled’s unparalleled passion and exuberance do not have a real outlet on this album. Sure, he may orchestrate the songs in some way, but his presence is not truly there. As stated earlier, the production on this album is bearable and more or less gets the job done, but is mostly composed of bothersome loops?

This leaves the bulk of the work to the emcees. And quite frankly, some show up, and some most certainly do not. Nas brings the heat on Nas Album Done with spiraling bars that remind us all what he is still very capable of. Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z hold their own on the mic but the latter leaves much to be desired from the aging great. The surprise successful feature comes from none other than Big Sean, not particularly because his verse is outstanding in any way, but rather because it easily raises the bar from what he’s delivered on his own albums.

Unfortunately, most of the other guest verses on this project fall (extremely ungracefully) flat on their face. From Travis Scott to Kodack Black, to Future’s small time assistant role to Hov, this album is jam packed with pot holes.

The result of any DJ Khaled album more or less revolves around the same formula: will the beats be cut from the same oily cloth as those of the last album? If so, will the rhyming and vocals be hoisted up successfully by the featured artists? These are the main questions that a listener must ask him or herself, and, frankly, Khaled should be asking them too.