"Quality" and DJ Khaled can't go in the same sentence unironically. The infamous hip-hop icon has returned with a follow up to 2016's Major Key with a new album, and he'll leave you wishing he didn't. DJ Khaled ruins his own songs in Grateful despite barely even appearing on some of them.
The saddest part about Grateful is that most of the songs would probably be decent tracks had they not included DJ Khaled. It's no exaggeration to say he literally ruins every track he features on. Introductory track 'I'm So Grateful' is a great opening track, its instrumental sounding very fresh and Sizzla delivers some cool melodies, but when DJ Khaled enters it becomes painfully obvious that he never understands what he's talking about. The full gibberish that just comes out of his mouth manages to bring down the entire song with him. Even Beyoncé and Jay-Z can't save a track from the likes of him, no matter how great they sound on the track 'Shining.' If he would get over himself and stop saying his name a trillion times, that would most definitely help.
It's truly a shame how this album plays out. A solid half of it is quality material. Drake surprisingly holds his own on 'To The Max' only for Khaled to ruin it in the end. Rihanna sounds great above the funky instrumental of 'Wild Thoughts,' ruined by all the adlibs in the beginning. The all star lineup of Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, and Lil Wayne brings a huge summer anthem to the plate (the way Quavo comes in after Bieber is just hilarious), but all DJ Khaled can do is literally just repeat someone else's lyrics. He ruins 'On Everything' even with Travis Scott hyping up the track. Alicia Keys sounds amazing on 'Nobody,' and he manages to ruin it there, too (Nicki Minaj also doesn't help, nor does she do good things on 'I Can't Even Lie' either).
There's no excuse for him making these tracks fail, but the second half of the record is just pure bad. Keep in mind, this record lasts for an hour and a half. That's 90 minutes of "anotha one," "DJ Khaled," and "we the best music." The best way of describing how terrible the second half of the record is is just listening to the intro of 'Pull A Caper.' Nothing spells dramatic and moody like his ad libs echoing over dark piano chords. To be fair, Kodak Black isn't doing the track many favors either; it's up to Gucci Mane and Rick Ross to pick it all back up. Even when Khaled tries to be genuine he can't help but mess up. The messages to his son on 'I Love You So Much' and closing track 'Asahd Talk' are just downright embarrassing. It's not even as if he's a proud parent, he's just trying to glorify his son's life.
DJ Khaled ruins his own songs in Grateful from beginning to end, with no exceptions. It's truly a shame, because there are so many songs with potential on the album. 90 minutes of his ad libs is unforgivable from every angle you look at it, though, so perhaps he was doomed from the start, since it seems half of his vocabulary is his own name
Favorite Tracks: Shining, I'm The One
Least Favorite Tracks: Asahd Talk, Pull A Caper, Billy Ocean... everything on the second half.
Rating: 35 / 100
Stream or buy Grateful on Apple Music: