Dj Khaled has been in the music industry over 10 years, but it wasn’t until this last one that he blew up to a megastar. Using snapchat, he’s been able to broaden his base with his unique style of motivational speeches, telling us “they don’t want us to win” and giving us all of the keys. He used the momentum from his snapchat popularity to be the force behind his ninth studio album Major Key.
Like all Khaled albums, the the tracklist consists of an all star roster of hip hop’s elite including: Jay-Z, Nas, Drake, Jadakiss, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Jeezy and French Montana along with Big Sean, Rick Ross, Future each having multiple appearances throughout the album . Although the big names were there, it would be interesting to see if Khaled could put it together and make it stick as opposed to just having an album oversaturated with features.
The album starts off hard with “I Got The Keys”. Jay-Z, at 46, is still in rare form spitting about entrepreneurship and reminding us why he is the greatest of all time. Future does his thing on the hook delivering what I believe is his best performance on the album.
So how do you follow up to having the best rapper of all time. Of course you get the best rapper of right now, which Khaled did in recruiting Drake to come swag on “Free”, and ode to how good his sex is.
At this point, Khaled laid the foundation for what would be a very solid album, but we hadn’t really been wow’d yet.
That was until track 3; “Nas Album Done“. On what is personally my favorite song on the album, Nas’ effortless flow over a classic Fugee beat is impeccable. Bars ranging from his signature fade to imploring us to support black business, Nas further cemented his position as a hip hop legend.
On the sixth track of the album “Do You Mind“, Khaled samples a hood classic “Lovers & Friends”, and has it revamped by his team from the hit “Hold You Down”: August Alsina, Future, Jeremih and Chris Brown blessing the hook. Then he decides to add Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj for good measure. Nobody outside of Chris Brown really has an exceptional performance, but the sum is at least equal to its parts here, and for these artists that is saying a lot.
The filler tracks on this album are above average from harmonizing tracks like “Pick These Hoes Apart” featuring Kodak Black, French Montana and Jeezy to tracks with New York’s finest spitting like “Don’t Ever Play Yourself” featuring Jadakiss, Fabulous, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes and Khaled’s own artist Kent Jones.
The album ends with Khaled paying homage with his love for reggae with the Movado featured “Progress”
All in all, Khaled did not disappoint. Not only did he have great singles, which he’s known for, he complimented them with a full album of really good music crossing over many Genres.
Rating an album early is always tough because you don’t have enough time to really appreciate it for all of its nuances. That being said I give it an initial rating of 4.5/5.