Artist: DJ Khaled
Album: We The Best Forever
Released on: July 19, 2011
DJ Khaled, who is best known for street theme records, surfaces with his 5th album, entitled after his recognizable mantra “We the Best Forever”. The album includes productions by The Renegade, The Runners, Danja, Lex Luger and more. The compilation opens with “I’m On One”, which reached #10 on the Billboard Hip-Hop chart. Followed by “Welcome to my Hood”, which is really reminiscent of his previous hit “I’m So Hood”, again with an array of rappers who brought clever punchlines and swag. With “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over”, I did not love the production, it was just okay. Of course, we all know Mary J. Blige houses power vocals, but on this track I felt they were contained, I wanted it to go harder and Fab and Jada’s verses could have been more lengthy, although I did love the sample instrumental.
On “Legendary” I loved Keyshia Cole’s vocals on the hook, as well as Chris Brown’s verses, but when the bridge section came in, I felt Ne-Yo (as much as I love him) was not a good fit. The track would have been perfectly fine with just two vocalists. However, I do feel that this rumored next single has potential to succeed commercially. “Can’t Stop” is my kind of track. The instrumental was knocking, Birdman’s signature flow was stamped on the verses and T-Pain was riding the hook effortlessly, I really wish it could have been longer, there definitely needed to be another verse.
“Future” has to be my favorite track of the album, with so many gifted lyricists on one song, it’s hard to go wrong. The track features Ace Hood, Meek Mill, Big Sean, Wale and Vado and I feel all of them did the track justice. Each of the rappers brought their game and if I had to choose my favorite verse, I would go with either Ace or Wale. “My Life” had infectious hook along with great energy and I felt Akon & B.O.B. presented a good collaboration and this came as a surprise because I’m not really a fan of Akon.
For me “Sleep When I’m Gone” was uninspiring. There were a couple of lyrics that grabbed my attention, but overall, I did not feel the song was as good as it could have been with Game, Busta and Cee-Lo, it really seemed to be just a filler and I expected more. “A Million Lights” was another filler for the album, the instrumental had an 80s feel with the sounds of a synthesizer minus the 80s quality. Unfortunately, it did not hold enough energy to gain my appreciation and I wanted it to, with such artists of Young Money. I know they can do better, but maybe that’s all they had with the given chemistry of the instrumental.
I understand what Khaled was attempting to do, being as though this is his first album on a major label, but for me the intention was not successfully carried out. The album was complete with commercial songs (which are cool), but did not seem to balance well with the few hood anthems, which is what he is known for. The thing about evolving as an artist is that you have to calculate a way to keep the factors of what made people love you and try to grow at the same time without recreating what you already did. I feel with so many talented artists, “We The Best Forever” should have been much better.
Rating: 3 earphones out of 5