If you’re going to call your album We the Best Forever, in my humble opinion the album should probably all but shit gold. Now, if we’re talking about record sales alone, then DJ Khaled’s We the Best Forever is probably going to do just that. That’s because Lil’ Wayne, Birdman, T-Pain, Chris Brown, Drake, Busta Rhymes, Rick Ross, Twista, Ludacris, and Akon make up the elite circle of big boys that grace this album. Don’t get me wrong, each and every one of those guys has put out some praise-worthy material in his career. However if we’re talking about taking a stand, further enlightenment, current events, general relevance (you know, the reasons we have rap to begin with), We the Best Forever does not, in fact, shit gold.
True, my view on today’s mainstream rap does bear a striking resemblance to my feelings on buzzing ear gnats; but, snobbery aside, I don’t think it’s too much to ask to expect a point, a motive if you will, from a given album. If someone were to tell me the general point behind We the Best Forever is to prove superiority of women, cars, and money, I would smite them right then and there. Those subjects are dangerous to society, they are the reasons my parents refuse to listen to any of my rap records, and they are simply horse feathers. Yeah, yeah, we know your Caddy sits on 22’s. Yeah, yeah, we know you’re fucking hoes, as Big Sean gloats on the track “Future.” These concepts are not themes; rather, they are fantastical mindsets of people who believe they can make and sell a record based on braggadocio and materialism. The sad thing is, they’re right.
In order to shed light on this important issue, let’s break the album down. First of all, DJ Khaled only did the production for a few of the songs on We the Best Forever, which left me feeling a bit confused and ambiguous about the whole thing. “Who am I supposed to blame for this particularly contrived and mind-numbing track?” I often found myself asking aloud. I know, that sounds harsh. But the lyrics “when I talk I be talking ’bout money, so please don’t talk to me if you ain’t talking ’bout money” off the song “Money” speak for themselves, do they not?
That same sentiment weaves its way through most of We the Best Forever, as we see with the song “It Ain’t Over ‘Till It’s Over” and “I’m Thuggin.’” However the album takes an unexpected turn with “A Million Lights,” which features DJ Khaled’s Young Money Cash Money label mates Tyga, Cory Gunz, Mack Maine, Jae Millz and Kevin Rudolf. While the rest of the album knocks the gangster beats for which DJ Khaled is known, this track’s beat smacks of pop all the way. It also shows a softer side to the album, with the rappers spitting verses about their versions of love. It’s just weird. In so many ways, “A Million Lights” doesn’t belong on the record.
I am trying to think of one good thing to say about this album and all I can come up with is that it is sure going to make lots of money.
Which, come to think of it, might be precisely the problem.