DJ Khaled Delivers Plenty of Hits on ‘Major Key’
DJ Khaled received a lift from buzz singles promoting his latest album, ‘Major Key’, a star-studded affair featuring Drake, JAY Z, Kendrick Lamar & others.
From the start of the promotional campaign for Major Key, things looked optimistic for DJ Khaled. Collaborating with “the gift that keeps on giving” Drake (“For Free”), the buzz was clearly amplified LOUDLY. Throw in some more potential hits, and Khaled seems to be onto something. Does Major Key sustain the lift it gets from its awesome promo singles? Read on to find out.
“I Got the Keys” opens Major Key in electrifying fashion. Future nails the repetitive hook in all his autotuned glory, while Jay-Z flexes on the ultimate flex anthem. The flex fest of Major Key continues on “For Free,” the infectious sex anthem featuring the ubiquitous Drake. During its course, Drake drops a hella cool Kendrick Lamar reference, arguably the highlight of the joint.
Keeping the star-studded cast elite, not to mention the songs themselves, Nas joins on a banger named appropriately titled “Nas Album Done.” Nas is on autopilot, never losing his grit. An added bonus is an exceptional hook, not always the case from a Nas record.
“My signature fade with the Bevel blade / that’s a major key / I told her she’s smart and loyal, I like that / that’s a major key…”
The production continues to bang on “Holy Key,” featuring Betty Wright, Big Sean & Kendrick Lamar. Big Sean kicks things off energetically, with Wright ‘bringing it all together’ soulfully on the gospel-infused hook.
“And Imma celebrate it for a long time / the drama couldn’t break me, now it’s all mine / surrounded by my angels and we all shine / holy, holy, holy, holy key…”
Unsurprisingly, Kendrick Lamar slaughters on verse two – Amen!
Like Nas, J. Cole gets his own moment – “Jermaine’s Interlude.” Cole’s moment isn’t as bombastic, but still worthwhile. Rising newcomer Bryson Tiller and Future take the reins on “Ima Be Alright,” another slickly produced and assembled joint. Tiller once more confirms ‘he’s the full package,’ singing on the hook and rapping/pop-rapping on a verse. The sung vocals “steal the show.”
“Do You Mind”
“Do You Mind” has no shortage of big names. Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, August Alsina, Jeremih, Future, and Rick Ross all guest. Phew! “Do You Mind” is a welcome change of pace, trading the hard-hitting bars for more romantic and sensual vibes. Considering all the talent, it’s impressive that the record is a success, even if its ambitious at five and a half minutes in duration.
“Pick These Hoes Apart” starkly contrasts “Do You Mind,” opting for misogyny as opposed to chivalry. Kodak Black gets graphic on his guest verse, admitting
“Soon I saw your girl my d*ck was standin’ hard / she so wet I make that p*ssy fart…”
It doesn’t improve from there. Jeezy and French Montana both mention the elevated status of their manhood. Definitely the lowest point of Major Key to this point. For the millionth time, Future appears, this time on “F*ck Up the Club.” Even if Future’s ubiquity is too much, he’s made for the hook.
“We just gon’ fuck up the club, baby, f*ck up the club, baby”
Rick Ross, YG, and Yo Gotti join Future for the ride (no pun intended). Do any of the MCs provide substance that is transcendent? No, but it’s sound.
“Work For It”
“Work For It” is more intriguing, if for no other reason than the odd, hypnotic production work by Metro Boomin. Big Sean reappears, nailing the hook and sounding ferocious on the verse.
“Make me give up everything I worked for / you gon’ make me give up everything I worked for / Sunday, you ain’t go to church though / I still bless you, but you know what come first though”
Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz fill out the rest of the standout. Both bring the heat, but Sean steals the show, switching up his flow and showcasing his versatility. “Don’t Ever Pay Yourself” assembles another superstar joint – Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, newbie Kent Jones, Fabolous, and Jadakiss. No hook needed – FIRE!
Three more songs grace Major Key: “Tourist” featuring Travi$ Scott and Lil Wayne, “Forgive Me Father” featuring Meghan Trainor, Wiz Khalifa & Wale, and “Progress” featuring Mavado. The best of the bunch is the quasi-gospel infused “Father Forgive Them.” The oddest? The closer, which seems like a letdown to conclude an album as strong as Major Key.
All in all, DJ Khaled delivers on Major Key. At nearly an hour it runs long, but more often than not, Major Key is one big happy compilation of swag. More impressive is the fact there are more hits beyond the promo singles, which is always a bonus. All in all, a success.
Gems: “I Got the Keys,” “For Free,” “Nas Album Done,” “Holy Key,” “Do You Mind,” “Work For It”