The super-strange career of DJ Khalid, behind one of the best rap tunes of the year, detailed by Prefix.
DJ Khaled is a strangest proposition, even by the standards of commercial American hip hop. A radio DJ who doesn’t produce yet is behind some of the best rap tunes of recent times (especially the bombast-as-art I’m On One, below), he’s basically the Michael Bay of rap, because like Michael Bay, he gets people to shout at each other over loud noises and bright light and documents what being the absolute biggest and best at something is. Anyway, Prefix published this great piece on him.
It’s sort of bewildering that DJ Khaled is on his fifth album. Here is a man who’s parlayed his career as a prominent radio DJ from Miami with a voice that sounds like it belongs to a super-excited fourteen year-old into a pretty sweet gig doing, well, I’m not exactly sure. He doesn’t rap on his own songs as much as he screams random shit every once in a while. He doesn’t seem to care much for producing or scratching, as Wikipedia told me that out of all the songs on Khaled’s five albums, he has played a part in producing seven of them. His basic modus operandi seems to be to track down a bunch of expensive-sounding beats and call in his famous friends to rap over them about how they are the best at everything. Through the transitive property of bestness, you then understand that DJ Khaled is also the best. This is an almost unimpeachable strategy, and despite – or perhaps because – of his almost pathological presence on his own albums, every single DJ Khaled record is completely fucking perfect, and there’s no reason to believe that his fifth, We The Best Forever, won’t be the same way.
DJ Khaled albums are like museums, and he’s the curator. There are rules, and if you don’t follow them, you’re getting thrown the fuck out of the museum. First, you are not allowed to rap about your feelings, unless you are feeling like you are the best. If you own a boat, go ahead and bring it to the video shoot. Bombast is the general oeuvre you’re shooting for, obviously.