Release Date: Jul 29, 2016
Record label: Epic
Genre(s): Rap, Hardcore Rap, Pop-Rap
Once the I Changed a Lot campaign subsided, Khaled Khaled signed with major label Epic. The move reunited the DJ with L.A. Reid, who previously hired him at Def Jam to serve as president of that label's southern division. This was back in 2009. Since then, Khaled's Def Jam stint has become a ….
DJ Khaled :: Major KeyWe the Best/Epic RecordsAuthor: Steve 'Flash' JuonEven if DJ Khaled is "Suffering From Success," it clearly hasn't been an impediment to his hustle muscle. In fact it's the kind of malady most artists in any genre of music let alone hip-hop would be happy to have. Even though he's been criticized in the past for lacking substance, it's hard to argue with the fact that he assembles an all-star roster on each album, and invariably each one of those albums drops multiple hit singles.
No one could have predicted the trajectory of DJ Khaled except Khaled himself. Well before he ascended to Snapchat stardom in his soy milk-and-cocoa-butter'd glory, he was a local Miami radio DJ pushing brand-worthy catchphrases (“Listennn…”; “We the best!”) and promoting unity and self-belief with a persistence that was as endearing as it was annoying. His bombastic statements seemed to be a nod to his reggae soundclash bonafides, but it was actually a ‘hood-oriented manifestation gospel.
From being charmingly lost at sea riding his jet ski at night to having the clout to convince Kim Kardashian to join Snapchat, DJ Khaled has become one of the most charming presences on social media. Whether he was opening up for Beyoncé on her Formation World Tour, signing papers with Jay Z’s Roc Nation, or celebrating the fact that amid all this madness he and his fiancée are expecting their first child, 2016 was the Year of Khaled. But all of these little and big victories necessarily affect his new album, Major Key.
Major Key marks DJ Khaled’s ninth studio album and most people still don’t know what exactly it is Khaled does. Ever since his first project, it has been a mystery as to what part of the music creation process Khaled is involved in. He doesn’t rap or sing and although he is credited for the co-production of five tracks on this album, it’s hard to distinguish the magnitude of his contributions.
DJ Khaled is an award winning disc jockey, A&R, record producer, tastemaker, and meme-smith who has taken the internet by storm. His internet stardom might be attributed to his optimistic, highly-quotable Snapchat pep-talks and his discography of notable features and collaborations, but while DJ Khaled has rapidly ascended to household name, his newest release, Major Key, is his first musical attempt at making good on his viral success. With Major Key, Khaled attempts to prove to his audience that, despite the palpable hilarity of his internet presence, he is first and foremost a tastemaker and a DJ: a binding glue that brings together unexpected collaborations which yield catchy, sometimes epic, sonic results.
DJ Khaled is a movie star. You won’t literally see him at the Megaplex, but an invite to the Oscars red carpet isn’t completely out of the question like it used to be. He’s big, it’s the pictures that got small. Specifically, he leased a second life for himself as the first breakout star to emerge from Snapchat, the ephemeral mobile messaging service that caters to content providers and sexters alike.
For the past 10 years, DJ Khaled has been hip-hop's brassiest motivational speaker, and lately it seems like the whole world is on his team – from Beyoncé to LeBron to the nation of Belize (which just named an island after the catchphrase that serves as the title of his new album). The Miami producer rose to success cranking out hit anthems like 2010's "All I Do Is Win" (with Ludacris, Rick Ross, T-Pain and Snoop Dogg) and 2011's "I'm on One" (with Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne), odes to victory and power that feel like trunk-rattling variations on Queen's "We Are the Champions. " Meanwhile, Khaled has become a megastar on Snapchat, where he hangs out dispensing business advice ("They don't want you to win!") like a cross between Tony Robbins and Diddy.
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.
MAJOR KEY ALERT!Just kidding. In truth, DJ Khaled's ninth studio album, Major Key, is — to be punny about it — more like one of those tiny keys used to open mailboxes or filing cabinets. It starts off deceptively strong, with standouts like "I Got the Keys," "Nas Album Done" and "For Free" all loaded near the beginning. But once the album advances past this bit of clever sequencing, it barely strikes a chord.On the surface, Major Key has all the elements of a sure-fire hit: an all-star cast of collaborators (including Jay Z, Nas, Drake, Future and Kendrick Lamar); trendy beats and, hello, an actual lion on the cover! Khaled has a very specific formula for success, and he certainly doesn't stray from it here.