Release Date: Oct 23, 2015
Record label: Relativity Entertainment
Genre(s): Rap, Contemporary R&B, Hardcore Rap, Pop-Rap
As an artist who doesn't rap, write, or sing, and doesn't produce that often, DJ Khaled is still a well-connected and prolific album curator, so much so that I Changed a Lot is his eighth star-studded full-length since 2006, and one that debuted at number 12 on Billboard's album chart. French Montana, Rick Ross, Chris Brown, and Future are the Fantastic Four of the album, each of them making multiple appearances and contributing to the singles/highlights, while the slick and radio-ready production comes from the likes of the Beat Bully, StreetRunner, and Lee on the Beats. Think of it as the Khaled collection with the most R&B (thanks to Brown), the most Future, or maybe the most Khaled as the DJ not only does his usual talking over tracks, but features his Finga Licking fried chicken restaurant right on the album cover.
How does one review a DJ Khaled album? How do you apply numbers — mere digits which adhere to the rules of mathematics — to DJ Khaled, a being who heeds neither the laws of man nor those of nature? Do you even listen to it? It’s not like DJ Khaled honestly cares if people to listen to I Changed a Lot, his eighth album in nine years. To Khaled, albums are simply products of generic grinding and nonspecific perseverance, lumps of aspirational coal hardened into diamonds of success inside the tight asshole of Horatio Alger. Khaled expects us to buy his albums as a reward for his hard work (more on that in a sec), but actually listen to the things all the way through? To paraphrase the late Lou Reed, “Anyone who gets to side four is dumber than I am.
DJ Khaled’s eighth mega-collaborative studio album I Changed A Lot features a collection of artists who have won Grammy Awards, sold well over 50 million combined albums and played every stage from Glastonbury to Reggae Sunsplash. However, I Changed A Lot lacks a “We Taking Over”-style smash single to show for the incredible hit-making power of the performers present. Something just feels off in Khaled’s traditional manner of creating ubiquitous pop cultural touchstones.
Hip-hop is old and vast, but its institutional memory can be short. Long careers are tough to come by, and the genre’s mainstream is zig-zagging more quickly than ever. Given that, the continuing success of both the Game and DJ Khaled is striking, precisely because it bucks those trends. They are ….