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The Earliest Bird: Top New Recorded Release 4-30-21 – 5-6-2, DJ Khaled’s “Khaled Khaled” Reviewed

Whatever you think of DJ Khaled, and I haven’t liked him since he opened for Beyonce at Citi Field in 2016 (here), the DJ King Of The Featured Artist, has the power of his religious convictions. More than even Cat Stevens, Khaled fronts well for Islam, and on the cover of his latest album, Khaled Khaled, he is with his children, at his mansions garden, facing Mecca and praying. Mid-Ramadan, the surprise drop has no more faith than that, but it is enough. I’m surprised he isn’t fronting a hip hop festival in Dubai for billions, a logical step if ever there was, and he may need it after this.

It is all part of the brand, and the brand is lifestyles of the cream of rap join Khaled, and alright, it has moments. But moments that are abstracted and irritated time after time with his asinine:

“We da best music:”

“And Another One”

“Dj Khaled”

Before every track.

It makes Rick Ross’ “Maybach music. Nice” read like Rakim.

And all might be forgiven but the tracks aren’t here. Last year Khaled dropped “Popstar” and “Greece,” both on Khaled Khaled, with Drake and the only excuse for them are popularity and they both heralded Drake’s shaky hold on the crowd. It’s all a little obvious, it is all a little boring. The album opens with Weezy, which is fair enough, and Jeremih, which you think maybe less so, but the sample is Bobby Blue Bland’s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” -part of hip hop legend, Jay Z bused in 2001 and it hasn’t been necessarily so ever since, the only reason for Khaled so buy it again is to show off his budget. Which is somewhat impressive.

Forgot Lil Wayne, Nas and Jay Z (and James Fauntleroy)  steal a song title from Beyonce on “Sorry Not sorry” for another lifestyles story though the Jay Z verse is pretty good and reminds us how much we miss him on the crappy 00 style track,  and if it seems difficult to screw that up how about Post Malone, DaBaby, Lil Baby, and Megan Thee Stallion, all together for another dog “I Did I” with only Megan’s verse worth your time. And yeah, he has Justin Timberlake, who arrives to prove yet again that the last Justin standing is Justin Bieber.

Which brings us to the albums saving graces, Savage 21 and Justin Bieber are great together on the gorgeous “Let It Go” with an electronic sound and clever beat which Justin sings to with immense tunefulness and 21 Savage adds the sharpness and the take away, “life is a bitch but sometimes it’s alright,” is a terrific hook. But once you are past that, H.E.R., Buju Banton, Diddy, Big Sean, and a cast of dozens, can’t save this poor outing.

May God forgive him.

Grade: C

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