Thursday, February 28, 2013

Suffering From Success

From the onset Khaled raises the bar for compilation albums by including the biggest star in the free world. Including Obama on an album already flush with stars tells the whole tale from track one "I'm suffering from success." With the presidential announcement out of the way the CD leads itself to constant claims of bravado and odes to spending on materialistic ventures. Though these claims have always been present in hip hop, they take a different turn here because Khaled, being the coach that he is, assembled an all star team worthy of those nineties NBA all star games, and their whole premise is ode to the Joe Budden's song: Never Broke Again.
Lyrically, for a compilation album, this seems to have some strong hip-hop quotables for this year, at least until the Rap God drops his new album. Songs by J Cole, Vado, and Lil Wayne respectively flip metaphors and dish simile's as if to say we know you guys miss the word play so lets serve up some idioms for your enjoyment. Elsewhere on the album the lyrics are not the brightest but do lead to some hilarious quotes that will have you reaching for the rewind button such as the 2 Chains boast: "We the best Khaled tried to told 'em, you the second best Kelly Roland." Now the best lyrical exercise comes from Vado on "Black Ghost", he rides the beat, back flips and summersaults through sentences to give you the thought that New York has not lost its touch on hip hop, while T.I gives a tutorial on following the script by using the names of various Tupac and Biggie songs to create a verse that is both comprehensive and tributary to the fallen greats. Not what we expected, but in today's market of throw away rhymes this is a welcome turn giving us all facets of the lyrical spectrum.
The mixture of thumping drums, hot lyrics, eerie instrumentation, and super guests makes this a good buy but will also lead to ear numbness. One would assume that there could be more, or less in some cases to make this album more cohesive and allow a person to enjoy from beginning to end time and time again. This is not the case, as soon you will tire of hearing Future yelling on tracks especially when you could have replaced him with a young decent upstart such as Kirko Bangs or an established vet such as Z-Ro.

They all have the distinctively melodic voices and the latter two, at least in my opinion would have led to better performances on songs like "Black ball" and "I want to be with you". Slip ups such as these are what throws the album and gives it the few moments that you will start to skip after you have heard the album two or three times.
With all these stars Khaled had no choice but to make each song an anthem waiting to be expressed verbally by today's youth, with that it should not surprise you later this month when you hear kids singing Chris Brown's hook on "I'm still" or Big Sean's hook on "You don't want these problems. "No new friends" already catapulted Khaled into the public conscious this year and tracks like the aforementioned as well as "Never surrender", "Murcielago", and "I feel like" are sure to keep us screaming anthems until we reach the next summer. DJ Khaled's new opus is a strong one and definitely better than his last, if he keeps up with these presents to the community he may be reaching for the coach of the decade mantle, until then he seems to be doing well while suffering from his success.
Lyrics: 18/25
Replay Value: 19/25
Dance-ability: 15/25
Expression of Social Conscience: 13/25
Total: 65/100 Grade: C-
Final Thoughts: This album should have dropped in the summer so people could roll down their windows and blare these songs from the trunk, dropping it in the fall just leads to it being undoubtedly forgotten as colder climates will not have every one at the light bobbing their heads as they all play different tracks from this CD in unison.

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