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Breaking down the Album ‘KHALED KHALED’ by ‘DJ Khaled’

Released: 2021

Label: Epic/We The Best

Featuring: Lil Wayne, Jeremih, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Cardi B, H.E.R., Migos, Post Malone, DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, 21 Savage, Justin Bieber, Bryson Tiller, Roddy Ricch, Drake, Big Sean, Rick Ross, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Diddy, Nas, JAY-Z, James Fauntleroy, Justin Timberlake, Meek Mill, Buju Banton, Capleton, Bounty Killer

A critical exploration of DJ Khaled’s masterly crafted album ‘KHALED KHALED’ reveals a 360-degree soundscape of hip-hop, suffused with a rich tapestry of experiences and narratives. Unleashed in 2021 under the Epic/We The Best label, this album stuns with an illustrious line-up, including hard-hitters like Nas, JAY-Z, Justin Bieber, and H.E.R., among others. It’s a well-executed symphony of diverse voices, each contributing their unique lyrical prowess to Khaled’s broader vision. From the relentless ambition in ‘EVERY CHANCE I GET’ to the reflective depths in ‘LET IT GO,’ Khaled navigates a spectrum of emotions, anchoring the music in the lived realities of these stars. Notable songs like ‘POPSTAR,’ ‘SORRY NOT SORRY,’ and ‘JUST BE’ further embody the quintessential mélange of self-made success, fame’s price, and the pursuit of inner peace. So let’s get into it. From euphonious harmonies to raw cuts, here is a breakdown of the album “KHALED KHALED” by DJ Khaled.


Features: Lil Wayne, Jeremih

It’s a dedication to the fierce hustle and the spirit that refuses to be crushed under the weight of trials. Lil Wayne, with his distinctive flow, drops gems about overcoming adversity, acknowledging the thin line between success and failure, and the constant battle against odds. A standout line from Wayne’s verse, “Seen white chalk make street angels,” vividly paints the harsh realities many face, yet underscores the power of perseverance and being thankful for every breath, for every win, no matter how small.


Features: Lil Baby, Lil Durk

Through grinding lyrics, the track exudes the raw energy and hunger of artists refusing to be complacent. Highlighting this relentless drive, Lil Baby’s line, “I’ma turn up on a hater every chance that I get,” stands as a hard-hitting testament to their unstoppable ambition. Lil Durk adds depth by reflecting on authenticity and resilience born from hardship, they both lay bare a blueprint of making it big against the odds, anchored by DJ Khaled’s signature hyped ad-libs and production prowess.


Features: Cardi B

She celebrates her hard-earned success, highlighting her rise from the Bronx to chart-topping fame. With a raw, unapologetic delivery, Cardi B stakes her claim to big wins and even bigger ambitions, never forgetting the grind that got her to where she is today. A standout line encapsulating her journey and ethos is, “Got it out the mud, they ain’t do me no favors,” a testament to her self-made success against all odds.


Features: H.E.R., Migos

Featuring H.E.R. and Migos, the track embodies the quintessential victory lap of those who’ve faced the grind and emerged dripping in success. It’s a celebration of perseverance, luxury, and the unequivocal high that comes from winning against all odds. H.E.R. smoothens the edges with her sleek delivery, while Migos lace the track with their signature flair, crafting an anthem for those who hustle with style. A standout line that encapsulates the vibe is by Takeoff, “I took the bag and I double it / Flooded my wrist, if you play, you get candle lit.” This line isn’t just about flexing wealth—it’s a testament to the hustle, the transformation of effort into extravagance, and a warning to anyone doubting the hustle.


Features: Post Malone, DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby

Megan Thee Stallion’s bars encapsulate the song’s essence, spitting fire with lines like, “I’m from the South, never had a hand-out / ‘Fore I let my people starve, I’ll take it out your mouth.” This standout verse not only showcases her fierce independence and loyalty but also emphasizes the shared ethos of self-made success that permeates the track. Each artist contributes to a powerful declaration of victory, asserting that through relentless perseverance, “I did it, I did it, I did it,” becomes more than just a refrain—it’s a statement of undeniable fact.


Features: 21 Savage, Justin Bieber

This track swings on the pendulum of emotional depth, with Bieber crooning about the paradox of money and time and how true value lies not in material wealth but in love and relationships. 21 Savage grounds the track with his gritty realism, reflecting on his journey from poverty to prosperity, yet pointing out that money can’t rewind time or guarantee happiness. A standout line that encapsulates this vibe is, “They say, ‘Time is money’, but money can’t make no time.” This lyric hits hard, reminding us that amidst our grind and hustle, we can’t lose sight of what truly matters—our connections with those we cherish.


Features: Bryson Tiller, Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby

Each artist adds their distinct flavor to the narrative of intense passion and physical admiration, driving home the message of longing and irresistible attraction. A standout line that encapsulates the essence of the track’s luxuriant vibe comes from Lil Baby, “Dark lemonade got me ridin’ ’round toxic.” It’s a vivid illustration of the intoxicating allure and the high stakes of their entangled relationships, wrapped up in the finer things in life.


Features: Drake

Drake drops bars about unreachable expectations and the sheer scale of his lifestyle, punctuated by lines that underpin the relentless pressure and surreal aspects of fame. A line that hits hard is, “Cops pullin’ up like I’m givin’ drugs out, nah, nah / I’m a popstar, not a doctor,” illustrating the misconception and constant scrutiny he faces, despite his actual profession. The track doesn’t just flex wealth and status; it’s an introspective look at the cost of being on top, making it a multifaceted anthem in DJ Khaled’s arsenal.


Features: Big Sean, Rick Ross, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Diddy

Each verse brings its flavor, but it’s Big Sean’s reflective bars that resonate, “Mama worked two jobs at once for half her life, She prayed to God and I was the reply.” This line doesn’t just hit; it encapsulates the grind and divine intervention many feel propels them forward, making the song an anthem of resilience and self-assertion in the face of adversity.

10 SORRY NOT SORRY – Harmonies by The Hive

Features: Nas, JAY-Z, James Fauntleroy

Floating over luxurious beats, they recount journeys from hardship to heights of success, weaving narratives that celebrate their victories against all odds. Nas and JAY-Z, two titans of the game, trade verses filled with wisdom, wealth, and wit, reflecting on their paths to mogul status. A standout line, “I’m coin-based, basically cryptocurrency Scarface,” epitomizes the evolution of hustle in the digital age, showcasing Nas’s savvy intersection of technology and finance. This track isn’t just a braggadocio-filled banger; it’s a sophisticated toast to enduring legacy and newfound innovation in hip-hop.


Features: Justin Timberlake

Timberlake’s message is a call to authenticity and inner peace amidst life’s turbulence, urging listeners to embrace themselves fully. The standout line, “I ain’t worried ’bout a storm / ‘Cause I’m built for any weather, yeah, that’s what I know,” encapsulates the essence of resilience and self-belief the track aims to inspire. It’s a powerful reminder that our strength and growth stem from weathering life’s challenges while staying true to ourselves.


Features: Bryson Tiller, Meek Mill, H.E.R.

DJ Kaled hooks up with Bryson Tiller, Meek Mill and H.E.R. to weave a narrative of ambition and resilience. Meek Mill’s introspective verse cuts deep with reflections on his journey, standing out with the line, “I got kids I gotta feed, I got a momma that can’t grieve.” It encapsulates the drive and determination that fuels the pursuit of success against all odds, anchoring the song’s message that with belief and perseverance, one can indeed have it all.


Features: Drake

Drake’s smooth delivery paints a picture of luxury, from zipping through Nikki Beach on speedboats to globe-trotting to Greece and Paris at whim. A line that stands out, “I’m a problem, being rich is not my fault,” encapsulates the track’s essence — a nonchalant embrace of wealth and success that’s hard-earned on the beats of hip-hop.


Features: Buju Banton, Capleton, Bounty Killer

Drenched in reggae influences and the spirit of Rastafari, the song lyrically navigates through themes of resilience, identity, and the systemic challenges faced by the artists. A standout line that encapsulates this defiance and heritage is, “We natty congo long, just like di Amazon/Spliff big like gas cylinder, man a beat like gong.” It’s a striking visual and auditory metaphor that ties their identity and strength directly to the natural world—a common theme in reggae and Rastafarianism, showcasing their unbreakable connection to both their history and the Earth.

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