Father of Asahd – A Look Inside DJ Khaled’s 11th Album

DJ Khaled was the king of the posse cut as far back as I can remember. I’ve never gone out of my way to listen to a DJ Khaled album, but his cuts were a significant part of my childhood. Joints like We Takin’ Over, Brown Paper Bag and I’m So Hood. These tracks defined the biggest names in hip-hop at the time. That coupled with epic beat selections is what makes some of these songs classics in my eyes. Khaled took the concept of what we saw as ‘remixes’ during that time and made them the original cuts. It’s nice to see Khaled still putting collabs together even with the massive changes in the music scene since the mid-2000s.

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Father of Asahd is Khaled’s eleventh studio album. Just looking through the track listings of previous LPs paints the picture of a man capitalizing on all the hottest names in hip-hop spanning over a decade plus. This record seems to be no different. You’ve got Cardi B, 21 Savage, Lil Wayne, Big Sean and Travis Scott strewn throughout the entire album.

While this collection of talent is appealing on a surface level, I think it also slightly suffers from it too. Father of Asahd is more of a compilation than an actual cohesive album. For all I know, all of Khaled’s albums could be like this. The only thing that really makes the album an album is a guy who is constantly screaming in the background. It makes for a lot of up and down moments. It feels like Khaled got each artist individually for tracks with no real context behind it.

There’s just something weird about hearing a Meek Mill verse on an album where two other artists are advocating for his incarceration release a few tracks later. The track in question, the lead single Top Off, feels like a throwaway track from Everything is Love. JAY Z and Beyoncé drone on about their wealth and status expecting their delivery alone to carry the track while Future destroys your eardrums and your brain with his auto-tune that somehow still manages to let his shrill voice seep through while repeating the incredibly boring chorus. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if JAY and B just straight up gave Khaled this track in its early stages while they were recording Everything is Love.

And then for No Brainer to immediately follow that track is jarring. For one, the song is a blatant re-hashing of I’m the One from Khaled’s previous album. Literally, the only thing that’s missing is Wayne. Quavo and Chance both give pretty uninspired verses while Justin just seems to be along for the ride.

Speaking of pop crossovers, If Jealous isn’t an unabashed flip of Chris Brown’s Loyal, then I don’t know what is. Even the beats of both songs sound similar. Complete with empty sentiments from both rappers, it makes for just as much of an unlistenable song. At least Big Sean’s verse is better than Tyga’s, and Wayne is just… well, Wayne.

So, those are some of the lows, but what about the highs on Father of Asahd? Well, I really do enjoy the SZA track Just Us. It probably has one of the more interesting beats on the album, sampling the iconic Ms. Jackson by OutKast. SZA’s performance is also very solid. She attacks the subject matter of having a relationship with someone that the public eye may not agree with better than Jealous does by a long shot.

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Cardi B delivers an enjoyable verse on Wish Wish too even if what’s she’s saying has been recycled a few times now. Though, 21 Savage slightly bogs the track with his verse. Besides his boring delivery and the line about him being the greatest rapper out the south—which honestly has more problems than the fact that 21 himself isn’t originally from the south—the verse itself just isn’t great. The second half, especially, where he makes a lot of disjointed or just straight up basic comparisons like “…we the best like DJ Khaled”. Or this line “Leave you drunk like a shot of liquor, ain’t no chasin’ me”. 21’s verse is also slightly longer than Cardi’s, so there’s just a lot of filler that could’ve been cut. Not to mention a whole lot of revision. The hook is fire though.

In addition, Nas and Nipsey Hussle deliver competent verses on Won’t Take My Soul and Higher respectively. Celebrate is a pretty alright party track between Travis Scott and Post Malone. Jeezy and Rick Ross also deliver some pretty charismatic bars over some stand-out production on Big Boy Talk.

Father of Asahd feels like a star-studded compilation that doesn’t do much to enhance the abilities every artist displays in its more organic construction. Tracks are enjoyable when listening to them on their own, but when put together, they don’t really work off each other very much. Regardless, there are a number of tracks I do see myself returning to later in the future. So even if the whole isn’t exactly greater than the sum of its parts, at least some of the parts are solid in their own right.

What are your feelings of DJ Khaled’s new album Father of Asahd? Leave a comment below.

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Follow James on Twitter @DatBlackGhost.

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