Isn’t it so annoying when – DJ KHALED! – you’re trying to talk and – ANOTHER ONE! – someone just keeps shouting – WE THE BEST MUSIC! – on top of you? [EXPLOSION SOUND]
Welcome to the overblown world of DJ Khaled, the larger-than-life DJ/Producer behind Grateful. They say that millennials are spoiled and ruined as the “Snapchat generation”, but really it’s not them we need to worry about. Instead it’s middle-aged chancers who seem to have been granted fame for somehow being extra while doing the bare minimum. People who are so surprised and self-congratulatory about the fact that they’re not shooting blanks that they give their barely-sentient son an Exec Producer credit. Which ultimately makes a lot of sense, because half of this sounds like it’s the work of a toddler mashing buttons.
The good points? Well, the features of course. Khaled must have some serious Illuminati-level dirt in order to get a pretty decent run out of Beyonce and Jay Z, and somehow makes even Drake shine beyond his monotone on To The Max.
Of course, he ruins it almost immediately with a double-whammy eye-roll of Wild Thoughts, which features Rihanna competing with an ill-placed Santana sample (making us wonder what DJ Khaled actually did on this one), and a forgettable Justin Bieber track that adds insult to injury by featuring everyone’s friendly neighbourhood homophobe Quavo.
The main issue is that Khaled doesn’t do anything original, with everything cranked up to 12 for an album that feels like grievous bodily harm. The man himself is embarrassing on everything (especially on the track called, er, On Everything), putting himself and his ego before the sound as he waves around to get noticed. Meanwhile it takes a special kind of fuckery to ruin a song with both Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj, but the production on Nobody is so melodramatic and overblown that it’s hard to take measure of it.
It’s equally difficult to work out who this double-album is for, other than a vanity project for DJ Khaled himself and to send his kid Asahd to college. “Mommy and daddy love you,” he says on I Love You So Much before adding “you’re my son, you a mogul, you a icon, you the greatest” – honestly, Chance The Rapper doesn’t even stand a, well, chance and you half expect Aja from Drag Race to pop in and add “you’re perfect, you’re beautiful, you look like Linda Evangelista”. If anything, this will probably pay for the kid’s therapy because we’re sure even he’d agree with us on one matter: we’re all only ever going to be truly Grateful when this shit is over.