DJ Khaled couldn’t contain his screams when performing on stage at the VMAs this year while wearing an ash-gray suit and slime-green shoes. Offset and he was there to present the BestCollaboration nominees. Given that he has amassed a musical empire by enlisting famous people to appear on his beats, Khaled is likely the individual most suited for this position. But every few seconds, he frowned at the audience and shouted the title of his new album: “GOD DID!” Instead of providing any explanation for the reasoning for his extensive collection of all-star team-ups

We’ve grown to anticipate excess, repetition, and excessive repetition from DJ Khaled. In the 15 years since he first began producing music, his catchphrases—another one, major key, the best—have become more memorable than the majority of his songs. He creates catchphrases first, and songs second. In particular, his last three albums were jam-packed with paint-by-numbers-hop, complete with juddering bass and air trumpets. Khaledfunctions more like a party host than a producer:

He knows who to invite and what’s needed to create the right atmosphere, and he also understands that his personal presence will never be the major draw. Often, the only way to recognize a DJ Khaled song is to hear him yell his own name. For most of God Did’s 18 songs, he remains in the background, but every so often, he darts away from his typical patterns. Even a little innovation is interesting coming from him, however, it won’t help the sluggish album.

God Did is introduced by Khaled with less than a minute of Drake at his snottiest rather than the grandiose inspirational speech he has often used to open records in the past. Drake sings overdelicate music-box synthesizers, saying, “They act like friends/The whole time is fake,” with no corkboard affirmations in sight. It’s a sophisticated departure from Khaled’s usual,thump-focused fare, which makes the title track’s impending arrival all the more daunting. The eight-and-a-half-minute bombastic workout “God Did” has screeching tires, a spiraling electric guitar, and the back-to-back steamrolls of Rick Ross passing the torch to Lil Wayne, who then passes the torch to Jay-Z for four uninterrupted minutes.

Even the joy of hearing Jay boast about monogrammed pockets and “pushing Fenty like fentanyl” wears off after a while, but “God Did” is ambitious and marks the first time since Khaled’s early records that he has reached for actual grandness, as opposed to empty proclamations of it. Jay’s sprawling verse should be its own track.

A thoughtful curator is too often all that Khaled is. God Didpresents the exceptional chance to pinpoint precisely what DJ Khaled contributes to a song. He incorporates a portion of the Loxvs. Dipset Verzuz fight into a segment with Jadakiss, and the cheers of the audience liven up a run of clinical, focus-tested tunes. Khaled’s remix of Kanye West’s “Use This Gospel” best displays his talent

The allure of Khaled’s albums is their all-purpose ferocity, which has the nuance of shotgunning Red Bull. Though many of the songs on God Did can’t keep the momentum going. On “Party, “two out of three Migos fudge it, starting with vivacious ad-libs that noticeably wane. On “Fam Good, We Good,” Gunna and RoddyRicch falter, sounding bored by the time they get to the chorus. Future’s “Rainbow Audemars ‘cuz my bitch bisexual” phrase and the song’s meandering pace are too much for even Lil Baby to save. “Staying Alive” develops like a parody of a Khaled single, checking off the necessary pricey sample Drake uses Auto-Tune to interpolate the Bee Gees.

The most catchy melodies and hooks on the record appear moreby accident than design; they are the inevitable result of mergingstars and rhythms, then pulling back.

SZA is only featured in the chorus of “Beautiful” when she couldhave given Future’s croaky raps about consuming mushrooms andsage some flavor. What kind of music would DJ Khaled produce ifhe used cooperation to push musicians out of their comfort zonesand acted more like a director than a set decorator? God Didmakes a few allusions to the possibilities. But we already knowwhere DJ Khaled sits when it comes to imparting fresh insight orsmugly restating the time-tested.

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