Entrepreneur, Snapchat king, possessor of life’s “major keys” – there are so many strings to DJ Khaled’s bow that you might be forgiven for overlooking the fact that he also makes hit records.
But making hit records is what the super-producer has done since 2006, and Khaled certainly hasn’t skimped on length with his latest opus: 23 tracks can be found over 90 minutes on an album which, rather bizarrely, was executive produced by his eight-month-old son Asahd.
It may be an honorary title, but Asahd’s birth date (October 23) is the sole reason behind ‘Grateful’’s massive tracklist, which reads like a who’s who of rap, hip-hop and R&B. There’s an uplifting Beyoncé vocal on ‘Shining’, a Justin Bieber chorus on the perfect-for-the-pool ‘I’m The One’, a fiery Nicki Minaj verse on ‘Nobody’ – to name but a few.
Khaled recently told NME “there’s no songs on the album, just anthems”, but there’s an obvious issue here regarding quantity over quality. While the likes of the Drake-inflected ‘To The Max’ and the Rihanna and Bryson Tiller-featuring ‘Wild Thoughts’ are certified dancefloor bangers, there’s also plenty of filler, from the dreary ‘That Range Rover Came With The Steps’ to ‘On Everything’’s unimaginative Auto-Tune overdose.
Aside from hollering his name or catchphrases – “Another one!”, “Bless up!”, “We The Best Music!” – there’s no doubt Khaled’s formidable connections were the driving force behind ‘Grateful’. But, even with a dream team like this assembled, Khaled hasn’t located the ‘major key’ to the masterpiece he desired.