DJ Khaled has had a storied career – 11 studio albums and some of the greatest production and executive production we’ve ever seen. One may question the exact role Khaled plays in creating these albums; he doesn’t rap or sing on the albums, nor does he really DJ anymore. Despite the confusion, it’s time for fans to recognize the impact he’s had on the game. Khaled is now what Fat Joe was to Big Pun, revealing the crucial roles executive production and creative direction continue to play in music today. A rapper is only as good as the record, and that’s where DJ Khaled shines. Now to the album.
Father of Asahd is DJ Khaled’s best album yet. Similar to other Khaled projects, it features a variety of musical styles, with musical legends and young phenoms coming together all on one album.
The production samples bring back the nostalgia of a great time in music. Samples include Jodeci, Outkast, Billy Boyo, and many more. The production was also perfectly tailored to the artists featured. For example, the SZA song felt like a SZA song and the Meek Mill song felt like something from Dreams and Nightmares. The greatest example of this is “Jealous” featuring Chris Brown and Lil Wayne. This song takes us back to the days of “Forever” and the electro-R&B sounds Chris Brown championed in the late 2000’s. The nostalgia continues with “Big Boss Talk” featuring Rick Ross and Jeezy which takes us back to a time when the Maybach and Snowman logos dominated MTV.
Now, this album has already seen criticism as to its lack of soul and substance. Those who make this claim should open their eyes and look at the state of hip-hop in 2019. The leading sub-genre is mumble rap which has drowned out lyrical geniuses of our time. DJ Khaled never took the position of the moral teacher or an educator. He’s a Snapchat personality and extremely talented music curator, and he’s doing his job perfectly – that is creating great music.
There’s a lot of highs to this album, however there’s one overlooked low – “Wish Wish” featuring Cardi B and 21 Savage. This song felt like it was forced, as if Khaled felt that in order for this to be a top album contender, he must have a Cardi feature on it. Cardi B’s lyrical ability seemed elementary and her ability to stay on the beat seemed difficult. This song felt rudimentary compared to this body of work.
This review couldn’t be complete without special mention to the best song on the album –”Higher” featuring the late, great Nipsey Hussle and John Legend. It’s unclear when the production for this song was done, however the choir harmonies and the Gospel-like sounds supporting the voice of Nipsey really hits you in the feels. It’s as if this song was made to be a tribute to a hip-hop hero and his legacy.
All in all, this album was an amazing body of work with its finely tailored production, its plethora of nostalgic samples, and a lineup of great artists. This is by far DJ Khaled’s best project, and for those who decide to call him out for his lack of conscious hip-hop, I say, “You played yourself”.
Top 3 Songs:
- Higher (Feat. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend)
- Freak n You (feat. Lil Wayne & Gunna)
- Holy Mountain (feat. Buju Banton, Sizzla, Mavado, & 070 Shake)