The name of DJ Khaled’s just-released sixth album is Kiss the Ring. It’s an appropriate title because Khaled has sort of become The Godfather of hip-hop — he is probably the most respected and well-liked active member in hip-hop’s fraternity.
No one hates the man, and that’s why when the producer/DJ is getting ready to drop another project the largest names in hip-hop come out to support - like they do on Kiss the Ring, Khaled’s excellent sixth album in as many years.
Khaled’s latest jawn is completely stacked with talent: Lil Wayne, Kanye West, T.I., Chris Brown, Nas, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, Nicki Minaj and 2 Chainz all come through with verses, while genuine hit-makers like Mike Will, Hit-Boy, Boi-1da and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League lend a hand on the production tip.
Every time a new Khaled project comes around, it feels like an event more than an album itself, and it all has to do with what Khaled does with the talent he gathers, opting to create epic-sounding collabo songs, rather than solo tracks.
Legendary rappers Nas and Scarface haven’t collaborated in 10 years — on “In Between Us,” off Face’s The Fix album — yet Khaled found a way to get the two entities together on the album’s standout track “Hip-Hop,” a break-up song dedicated to hip-hop itself. On the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League track, Nas spits powerful bars like:
"She bought me Bentleys, Breitlings.
Made some friends resent me for writing about my life, they thought I should have stayed quiet.
She took me to places I would have never saw without her.
And she took me from my girl, powder
I doubt I’ll ever be the same, hallowed be thy name.
Give me strength so I don’t do this dame like Orenthal James."
The album’s second single, “I Wish You Would,” combines the three hottest names in hip-hop for a hypnotic head banger: Kanye West and Rick Ross both spit their usual braggadocio bars over a chaotic Hit-Boy beat.
The young boys in hop-hop — Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Big K.R.I.T. — even get a chance to shine on the soulful and appropriately titled "They Ready."
Khaled's album covers a wide spectrum of different types of hip-hop music, making sure all bases are covered, from the streets, like on the LP’s exciting opener “Shout Out to the Real,” which features Meek Mill, Plies and Ace Hood, to the clubs, with the album’s first single, “Take It to the Head,” which features Chris Brown and his memorable hook, along with verses from Ross and YMCMB’s Lil Wayne and Nicki. The often forgotten reggae even gets some love on the somber Movado solo cut “Suicidal Thoughts.”
At a brisk 12 tracks (the deluxe iTunes version has 16 tracks) the album is a quick, fun listen, with no glaring holes to be found.
Khaled is building quite the catalogue, and you can thank his hip-hop friends for the help.
Check out the Kiss the Ring tracklist below. And don’t forget to cop Khaled‘s new album here:
1. “Shout Out to the Real” (Feat. Meek Mill, Ace Hood and Plies) (Produced by Jahlil Beats/Co-Produced by DJ Khaled)
2. “Bitches & Bottles (Let’s Get It Started)” (Feat. Lil Wayne, T.I. and Future) (Produced by Mike Will)
3. “I Wish You Would” (Feat. Kanye West and Rick Ross) (Produced by Hit Boy)
4. “Take It to the Head” (Feat. Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, and Lil Wayne) (Produced by The Runners/Co-Produced by DJ Khaled)
5. “They Ready” (Feat. J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T. and Kendrick Lamar) (Produced by J. Cole)
6. “I’m So Blessed” (Feat. Big Sean, Ace Hood, Wiz Khalifa and T-Pain) (Produced by K.E./Co-Produced by DJ Khaled)
7. ” Hip Hop” (Feat. Scarface, Nas and DJ Premier) (Produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. Scratches by DJ Premier)
8. “I Did It for My Dawgz” (Feat. Rick Ross, French Montana, Meek Mill and Jadakiss) (Produced by Beat Bully)
9. “I Don’t See Em” (Feat. Birdman, Ace Hood and 2 Chainz) (Produced by Detail)
10. “Don’t Pay 4 It” (Feat. Wale, Tyga, Mack Maine and Kirko Bangz) (Produced by The Runners)
11. “Suicidal Thoughts” (Feat. Mavado) (Produced by Boi-1Da)
12. “Outro (They Don’t Want War)” (Feat. Ace Hood) (Produced by DJ Toomp)
13. “Don’t Get Me Started” – Ace Hood
14. “Aktion Pak” – Mavado
15. “B Boyz” – Birdman Feat. DJ Khaled, Kendrick Lamar, Ace Hood, and Mack Maine
iTunes Bonus tracks:
16. “Piss ‘Em Off” – Ace Hood