DJ Khaled brings out more A-listers than BET’s 106 & Park. In ’06, the Terror Squad jock released his first LP, Listennn: The Album, featuring the likes of Young Jeezy and Kanye West. He returned a year later with his follow-up, We the Best, which included Lil Wayne and T.I. on star-studded anthems like “We Takin’ Over” and “I’m So Hood.” Now, on his third attempt, We Global, Khaled aims for worldwide domination.
As with his past projects, Khaled serves as an executive producer, mostly letting the featured artists do the talking. But there are instances where he gets in on the act, producing and rhyming (“Damn right, I’m so conceited/
I know it made you sick/Guess what? It made me rich”) on the triumphant opener, “Standing on the Mountain Top.” Fabolous and The Inc. crooner Lloyd then test their chick-magnet methods on “Go Ahead,” while Khaled throws his protégé Ace Hood into the fire alongside Rick Ross, Akon, Plies, Lil Boosie and Trick Daddy on the album’s raucous single “Out Here Grindin’.”
The downside to having an all-star cast at your disposal is higher expectations. So when the Kanye/T-Pain collabo “Go Hard” falters due to generic Southern-rap production (cheesy analog synths and 808 snare rolls), it’s a huge letdown. The same goes for “She’s Fine,” where Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes and reggae artist Sean Paul fail to find their footing on Danjahandz’s up-tempo beat. Luckily, the album gets back on track with “I’m On,” where Nas goes in (“It’s still nasty, raw in the flesh/God’s Son, never gone, never left”) on Cool and Dre’s chunky drum hits.
Khaled has proven that, with the right support, he has the ability to orchestrate an impressive LP. And while his exclusively Dirty South–sounding playlist makes his global appeal debatable, when it comes to bringing out hip-hop’s biggest stars, DJ Khaled most certainly is the best. —PAUL CANTOR