DJ Khaled has had one of the biggest glo ups this year in the industry. With his Snapchat (DJKhaled305) birthing a string of memes, hashtags, positive talks and people yelling out his phrases like “CLOTH TALK!”, “They don’t want you to…” and “major key”, he has reached beyond his usual branding. Throughout his viral success, he has been hyping Major Key, his ninth studio album and hinting at amazing music to come.
The tracklist of Major Key looked promising. Khaled reached out to the everyone and got some dope people on tracks. I felt like the album may be worth a listen since the producer has delivered in the past with tracks like “Go Hard” (ft: Kanye West and T-Pain), “All I Do Is Win” (with Ludacris, Rick Ross, T-Pain and Snoop Dogg) ,”I’m on One” (with Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne) and more. From Jay-Z and Future on “I Got the Keys“, Nas, to working with Kodak Black, Gucci Mane and surprising me with a Bryson Tiller feature, Major Key was trying to make a statement.
I was surprised how minimal DJ Khaled’s presence was outside of his adlibs. Instead of opening with a skit, throwing down a verse or making his appearance
known, he takes the backseat and let’s the music speak for itself. I Got the Keys starts the album off strong with Jay-Z and Future on the hook. Jay’s verses were hard and I don’t care what a hater has to say about it. I got the keys, keys, keys.
For Free is an instant summer bop (though I hate to admit it). Damn you, Drake.
Nas Album Done is on a slower tempo compared to the first two songs but the fact that Nas has come out of hiding got me hype.Not only is he spitting knowledge but a Nas album is on the way. Oh yeah, and the Fu-Gee-La sample is impressive as well.
Me listening to Holy Key with Big Sean and Kendrick:
This track is like “Control” 2.0 and it was very intense. Once again Big Sean and Kendrick face off. He held his own against Kendrick and let these niggas know that he’s really outchea!
“Woah, I hear a little bit of me in all your favorite rappers
You know it’s true, bitch I need respect due
Now or later, either way I’mma take it”
I don’t know what it is about Big Sean that brings that fire out of K. Dot but once again he gave the Detroit rapper a run for his money.
Four songs in and DJ Khaled has knocked this album out the park so far. When you get to the fifth, sixth and seventh tracks, the momentum starts to fall and it had to begin with ya boy, J.Cole. He came out of hiding and decided to speak his mind on the industry, fame and police brutality on Jermaine’s Interlude. He delivers this on his usual predictable production and rap signature style. I’m not mad at the track and it’s good to hear from him but all this time he has been missing and nothing has changed. When J. Cole says “said all I could say, now I play with thoughts of retirement” , my reaction was:
After Cole’s track, up next are Ima Be Alright (featuring Future and one hit wonder, Bryson Tiller), Do You Mind which is like the fraternal twin of “Take It to the Head” (featuring Nicki Minaj, Future (AGAIN), Rick Ross and the usual R&B nigga trio: Chris Brown, August Alsina, Jeremih) and the “fuck these bitches anthem” Pick These Hos Apart (featuring Kodak Black, Jeezy and you guessed it…..FUTURE). These track are cool but I started to lose interest and get sleepy.
Fuck Up the Club wakes me up a little with its features from Rick Ross, Future, and Yo Gotti and is a simple turn up song for the club. Work For It is a song I find myself liking. Big Sean holds the track together while trappers Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz add their flavor as the chorus plays around with Usher’s Make Me Wanna”. Another one of DJ Khaled’s catchphrases comes to life with Don’t Ever Play Yourself. The hook-less song features verse after verse by Jadakiss, Fabolous, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes and Kent Jones. I actually enjoyed this track and if people look over it then:
Tourist has Travis Scott written all over it so if you like him, then you’ll like this. Along with Scott’s verse, Wayne delivers some nice lyricism on the track. Sadly, Major Key ends on a weak note with filler songs. Forgive Me Father is a skippable “pop” sounding track featuring Meghan Trainor, Wiz Khalifa and Wale. Progress closes the album with Mavado. The track is pretty soothing and I understand why Khaled put it on the album to pay respect to the legend Mavado and the Caribbean music sound that everyone is on these days (*cough Drake cough*).
Overall, Major Key had some gems on it and was worth listening to. The album starts off strong with its guaranteed hits and surprises but slowly begins to unravel its flaws of un-needed tracks or features. My only complaint would be that the tracklist could have been shorter. Not bad, Khaled, not bad at all.