DJ Khaled attempts to reinvent himself with every song release, and the first taste of his upcoming album is more of an example of why he should take a break to reinvigorate his sound.
The producer gathered previous collaborators Future, Jay-Z and Beyoncé for "Top Off," which was glossed with hype when Khaled announced the news on Instagram. But once the song arrived, the excitement waned down as we realized there is, unfortunately, nothing innovative about it.
Future opens the song with the same warbled flow that he's been holding on to for a few years now. Instead of setting the tone, his hook falls flat. Jay-Z then swoops in with a fair verse that references Meek Mill's jail sentence, his daughter/homie Blue Ivy and of course introducing his wife/musical partner-in-crime: King Bey.
Beyoncé is the main saving grace on "Top Off," but her feature fumbles a bit when her singing doesn't align with the beat, instead of going straight into rapping. Yet when she does start spitting, you immediately wonder why she hasn't dropped a mixtape yet. "Top off the coupe and it look like Freaknik / In the hood, hollerin', 'Free Meek' / Two deep, it's just me and Jay / Just posted in them courtside seats / Woo! I'm like hol' up' / Woo! I might roll up / If they're tryna party with the queen / They gon' have to sign a non-disclosure, ayy," she raps.
Unfortunately, even this ferocious verse couldn't make the song memorable. Jay-Z and Beyoncé deserve a harder beat underneath their flows; the juvenile SoundCloud production didn’t do them any favors especially on Beyoncé’s opening part. The entire song would’ve sounded a lot better with a thicker bass. Hopefully DJ Khaled takes this as a lesson to perfect his new album in order to make it timeless rather than playing musical Jenga with artist collaborations in hope that something sticks.
Father of Asahd, DJ Khaled's 11th album and the follow-up to 2017's Grateful, will arrive sometime this year. He previously worked with Jay-Z and Beyoncé on "Shining," while Future teamed up with Jay for DJ Khaled's 2016 track "I Got The Keys." Below, take it back to 2012 where DJ Khaled describes himself as a "producer-executive-mogul":