Release Date: Aug 21, 2012
Record label: Republic
Genre(s): Hardcore Rap, Pop-Rap
He's a DJ, not a rapper or producer, and yet Kiss the Ring is another in a long line of exciting compilations from DJ Khaled, the man with the million-dollar contact list. Being that it is his second release for the Cash Money label, the best of the YMCMB staff is here save Drake, with Lil Wayne leading T.I. and the Auto-Tuned Future through "Bitches & Bottles (Let's Get It Started)," a party tune with Mike Will Made-It on the production and six names in the songwriting credits, but it still comes off as simple and immediate.
There’s no sense in denying DJ Khaled’s status as a Rap mogul now. He’s got his own label, he’s the President of another, and his reach within the industry is one that only Diddy can match. All he’s missing is his own brand of liquor. Where he’s stood (and stands) as an Executive Producer seems to be the more appropriate question at this point.
“It’s always about the money, it’s always about the power, and it’s always about the respect.” That’s DJ Khaled on “Outro (They Don’t Want War)” from his new Kiss the Ring LP. No one’s ever depicted Khaled as any kind of aural auteur – after all, he cameos just three or four times on his own albums while producing just a handful of tracks – but statements like those are why he’s been infuriating rap fans (read: HipHopDX comments-sections) for years. Khaled is, quite transparently, much more concerned with his own image and wealth than his product.
What, exactly, is a DJ Khaled album? It’s a fair question. He doesn’t make the beats and he doesn’t lay the vocals, but with his extensive Rolodex and ear for which artists can fit well together, the Southern veteran has released five albums and a slew of hits. With his sixth effort, Kiss The Ring, the We The Best Music Group honcho reminds that for whatever it’s not, a DJ Khaled album is something worth its namesake’s incessant gloating.
He doesn't make beats and he doesn't rap (although he talks enough shit in his countless ad-libs), so what exactly does Khaled do? Who knows? One thing, however, the Miami-based commercial rap figure does impeccably well is call in favours. On his sixth studio album, Kiss The Ring, Khaled goes through his hip-hop Rolodex yet again and compiles a strong collection of MCs and producers to add some shine to his latest musical collage. With everyone from Kanye West and Rick Ross (who team up to brag and boast on the grating "I Wish You Would" produced by Hit Boy) to the Runners/Khaled-produced bachelorette party favourite, "Take It To The Head," featuring Breezy, Rozay, Nicki Minaj and Weezy, Kiss The Ring plays out exactly as you expect: big, boisterous, shiny and bloated.
A sadly formulaic slugging match between some true rap heavyweights. Adam Kennedy 2012 In hip hop, the clique is all; few stars stand alone without aid from sizeable extended families. Cruel Summer, the game-raising compilation from Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music stable, elevated the bar in that regard.