DJ Khaled – Kiss the Ring album review

While the cover of Kiss the Ring finds DJ Khaled doing his best Drake impression while wearing a comically oversized ring, don’t believe for a second that he has stepped away from his shtick. Khaled drops his yearly albums mostly to remind listeners of how ingrained he is in mainstream Hip-Hop. He’s not the type that could revolutionize the genre if he wanted to, but he is still surprisingly relevant in 2012.

From up-and-comers like 2 chainz and Meek Mill to big names like Kanye West, Nas, and Rick Ross, there really is an incredible roster on Kiss the Ring. With this ridiculous amount of talent, it’s not surprising that the album is full of songs that will be all over the radio in the very near future.

The absolutely vicious “Bitches & Bottles” seems like the obvious choice for the next single off of Kiss the Ring. Future sings a hook that is destined to be hide in the nooks and crannies of your brain and show up unexpectedly. As the beat builds, getting darker and darker, he howls out at the top of his lungs giving the chorus a life of its own. T.I. shows up in full Urban Legend mode for a verse that is an incredible reminder of his effortless confidence and talent when he’s on. Wayne’s verse isn’t as powerful in comparison, but having the instruments drop out for his first few bars makes it much more dynamic.

“Hip Hop” starts off with Khaled claiming that “This shit’s special!” which transitions into a verse that only the legendary Scarface could pen. While the sentiment would seem trite coming from a rapper without his credentials, Face beautifully describes the tumultuous ride that has been his career and how the rap game has left him with a bitter taste in his mouth. Anthropomorphizing his livelihood opens up a rawness in Scarface’s bars that does wonders for the track.

Kiss the Ring isn’t going to make any Top 10 lists as an album, but a few tracks will stick around long enough to justify a 2013 release for Khaled. That’s probably all he was aiming for anyway.

Scarface – Can’t Get Right video featuring Bilal from the album Emeritus

Scarface – Can’t Get Right video featuring Bilal from the album Emeritus

A familiar face amongst Hip-Hop’s staunchest fans, Scarface is the battle tested, story teller that has catapulted tales of fallen Houston hustlers to the world at large and has solidified his place in hip hop history. Now poised to step away from the game after 20 years in the biz, H-Town music pioneer Scarface is releasing his 11th and final solo album entitled Emeritus today, December 2nd.

He is also introducing his most controversial video to date “Can’t Get Right” Co-directed by Scarface and Boomtown, which eludes to the end of Scarface as we know him.

Emeritus–retired or honorably discharged from active professional duty, but retaining the title of one’s office or position

Scarface – Emeritus album, MissTheda caught up with Scarface as he discusses life, fatherhood and respect

Face Discusses What Might Be His Final Album and Life as a Man and Father

Check Out This Exclusive ThedaDotcom Interview. Face Discusses How Life, Fatherhood and Respect are Important To Him and Why.

MissTheda: Your did a tribute to Oakland rap veteran Too $hort at this year’s Hip-Hop Honors show. How do you think you’ll feel when the day of your induction comes?
Scarface: That’s a good question. I really haven’t put much thought into it, but when that time comes it will mean a lot to me.

MissTheda: Is it important for you to be respected and acknowledged?
Scarface: Shit yeah, I ain’t gotta be acknowledged or even spoken to, but respect me. If a person can’t look at you in your eye, then you know they don’t respect you. During the first debate between Obama and McCain, McCain didn’t look at Barack not one time to address him, that’s how you know he doesn’t respect him.

MissTheda: You’re called a legend, it terms of magnitude, how does that make you feel as a person?
Scarface: Define as a person.

MissTheda: You’re a person and many call you a legend, does it make you feel anyway, like overly confident or thankful.
Scarface: I’m thankful. I remember when I was little and we was so broke that all I would get was socks for Christmas. It’s memories like that, that keep things in perspective and a nigga focused on what’s important.

MissTheda: If Scarface is the street wordsmith, who is the real Brad Jordan?
Scarface: A father.

MissTheda: Few people know that you’re a family man. How do you balance being a father and urban legend on a daily basis?
Scarface: I just do it. Rapping will always be in me, but being dad is the real deal.

MissTheda: Who would you count as some of the biggest influences in your career from start to present?
Scarface: KRS1, Kool Moe D, N.W.A.

MissTheda: Your new album Emeritus has sparked a lot of talk about your unimaginable retirement from music. What is the album about and who did you work with for its creation.
Scarface: It’s my last album and it brings the understanding that I’ve done enough. I worked with Bun, Wayne, Z-Ro, Slim Thug and, she’s from Virginia. I can’t call her name. [Shateish, his manager says] Yeah Shateish, I had her name right there.

MissTheda: If this is your final album, what is the everlasting impression that you want to leave on your fans?
Scarface: I put it all on the floor and in time they will realize that Emeritus is not my end but another transition as an artist.

MissTheda: Away from music, what new chapter lies ahead for you.
Scarface: Golf! I want to bring golf to the inner city. I don’t think anyone is doing that.

MissTheda: When does the album come out?
Scarface: December 2nd.

MissTheda: Any parting words for your beloved fans.
Scarface: Just don’t forget to get Emeritus December 2nd and go out and vote.

Check out Face as he Walks you Through Emeritus and
Some of the Tracks!

Visit Scarface on Myspace or Imeem for more on
In Stores Dec 2nd