Seven straight albums. Critics might not wanna admit but nobody in rap did it quite like DJ Khaled did it. The Miami everything man makes big promises and often he backs em up creating some of hip-hop’ s most engaging posse cuts of the past few years. He’s a conductor and master motivator at getting A+ efforts from hip-hop’s vanguard.
SFS‘ crown jewel is “Never Surrender”. An overly-dramatic tour de force that features three MCs: Scarface, Jadakiss, Meek Mill and three DJs: John Legend, and Anthony Hamilton. Like Pusha T’s stellar “S.N.I.T.C.H.”, the song details the dark side of street life. This is the sad sounds of betrayal when friends turn on friends to save their own necks. The chorus is gripping and sustaining: “There’s a story in my life/There’s a story in my pain/There’s a story in my tears/There’s a story in me.”
The tale of this album has been playing out the whole year since Khaled first announced it in January. Some records have been better received than others. In April, Khaled turned Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” remix into “No New Friends” another captivating collabo between Drizzy, Ross and Lil Wayne which struck gold. After a failed “proposal” to Nicki Minaj, the follow-up single, “I Wanna Be With You” featuring Future didn’t perform as well.
Hendrix is all over this LP however providing the hooks for the title track and “Blackball” but the better tunes here can be found on the second half. J.Cole and Bas’ “Hells Kitchen” is flames; Meek Mill and Birdman’s “Murciealago” shows no mercy; and Khaled’s new act Vado joyrides over “Black Ghost”.
Although the lengthy roll-out has hurt Suffering From Success‘ sales, it still has enough satisfying moments to keep Khaled at the forefront of the culture. Hate it or love it, nobody does it like him. And he can’t stop. Won’t stop.—YN