You gotta hand it to DJ Khaled, he knows how to recruit. His latest album features no less than 34 collaborators across its bloated 22-track listing and they’re hardly Z-listers. His regulars are present – the likes of Rick Ross, Future and Gucci Mane show up multiple times – but there are also some startling cameos from the likes of Beyonce, Rihanna, Calvin Harris and Jay-Z. Khaled is clever in these regards; with a squad this prolific he’s bound to strike gold somewhere.
The slinky, Santana-sampling ‘Wild Thoughts’ catches Rihanna at her steamiest and on ‘Don’t Quit’, Calvin Harris’ recent penchant for nostalgic touches rubs off rather pleasingly on Khaled. Throwback track ‘Good Man’ is also worth searching through the dross for. Featuring certified veterans Pusha T and Jadakiss, ‘Good Man’ pays tribute to Biggie and Pac whilst providing a much needed break from the monotony of Khaled’s production. Part of the problem with Grateful is that Khaled recycles his guests far too often. Future features five times and Travis Scott and Rick Ross feature four times each. There are also two features from Migos, who are everywhere at the moment. It’s often very hard to tell one track from another. The other major gripe are DJ Khaled’s shout outs. Calls of ‘Deeeejay Khaleddddddd’ and ‘We the best music’ at the start of almost every track makes even the good songs infinitely worse. So yeah Jay-Z, if Grateful ever becomes a Tidal exclusive make it a DJ Khaled-free version- you’ll probably make a killing.