August 26th, DJ Khaled released his fourteenth studio album GOD DID. The album has eighteen star-studded tracks, just like any other Khaled album. The lead single is the impressive Drake and Lil Baby collaboration, sampling The Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive”.
The publicity for the album was excellent, but that’s what one would expect from Khaled. DJ Khaled’s social media presence and buzzwords sometimes overshadow his role as lead curator in rap. Fans and critics have questioned what DJ Khaled actually did with his albums, but over the years he has provided undeniable classics. I believe “GOD DID” had some of those moments.
There are no positive anthems like “All I Do Is Win” or “Higher” on this album. But sometimes Khaled deviates from his usual formula, like the intro to Drake’s “No Secret.” In the past, whenever Drake and Khaled recorded together, it sounded like a fun summer song. “No Secret” is a brief but pitch-setting introduction to OVO SoundCloud-era genre beats.
Then “GOD DID” gets into a dramatic beat, fit for a legend. The standout track is of course titled “God Did It”. In a complicated interview prior to the album’s release, Khaled was quoted as saying, “This is one of the best lines Jay-Z has ever written.” Really? Not for me, but it’s a great poem. Lil Wayne is the real star of that song, “Fear Locks, Face Tattoos, I’m Vertex.” Take a moment to acknowledge his cultural influence on today’s rap stars.
This album sometimes makes you don’t mind not hearing the song anymore, or you feel like you’ve heard it before. From a first look at the tracklist and features, I mentally picked some songs that I thought were good but were disappointed. They just look good on paper. Paying bills is a prime example. A Latto and City Girls song was supposed to be a new female anthem, but Khaled failed to connect the two acts. This happened in “The big time, keep going, Fam Good, We Good, and use this gospel”. Some of these songs are paired with artists who have had success in the past but failed to replicate it on “GOD DID”.
Home runs with big names simply won’t pay off for most of the album. It really paid off for Future and SZA’s “Beautiful”. SZA sounds like an angel, and Future follows in his social media persona with lyrics like “Every night we burn sage because we’re poisonous.”
Artists shine where they are alone. “Jadakiss Interlude, Way Past Luck, Juice Wrld Did and Grateful” are the best songs on the album. Jadakiss adds a dirty, thumping feel to the album. 21 Savage drifts past the beat, mulling over his feelings. Juice Wrld’s tracks remind us of his talent. Vory has a moving vocal performance on the album’s final track, “Grateful.”
I added eight of the eighteen tracks to my library. “GOD DID” isn’t a classic album by any means, but it does offer some memorable moments. The album felt like a circus at times, just random things. But it’s definitely a better album than Khaled’s last album, Khaled Khaled.