DJ Khaled :: Listennn - The Album :: Terror Squad/Koch Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

DJ Khaled Khaled wants you to LISTENNN LISTENNN to what he has to say. No typos in that sentence, no glitches in your web browser - the birth certificate has two Khaled's in his name and he spells listen with at least three N's. Up until now the New Orleans, Louisiana born and Dade County, Florida repping DJ may have been best known for working with the Terror Squad. In fact early bootlegs of the first single "Holla at Me" were credited solely to the T.S. family even though only two members involved in it are Khaled and Fat Joe. Nonetheless Cool and Dre came through with the hot Afrika Bambaataa "Looking for the Perfect Beat" sample, and Khaled used his connections to get an all-star roster of guests to light up the track - Lil Wayne, Paul Wall and Pitbull among others. Not surprisingly the song has been popular in the clubs and continued to chart. Peep a few samples of the vocab:

Paul Wall: "It's Paul Wall baby, Swishahouse club rocker
Chunk a deuce, sip a deuce, pourin up the Goose vodka
Lone-Star beast straight up out the H
Sure stoppin all the hate, sippin on the ski taste
I got the I-N-S on my tail, immigration still harass
Cause they see me in a foreign ridin on imported glass
Gettin cash is my number one task
Until I'm under the grass, that's why I'm top of the class
I'm a grit boy, lookin for an ass like Ketoy
Leave a bitch back all nutty like Almond Joy"

Fat Joe: "Nah homey you done got it fucked up
You ain't got as much money as us (Nope!)
We ain't send Campbell in cause he got goggles on
and he pushin something foreign as fuck (Oww!)
Now all I gotta do is push a little button quick fast
And the chopper come out of the stash (BRRRAP)
Yeah money ain't jewels motherfucker you lose
I'll make you do the fuckin Sean Combs dance"

Driving expensive cars, check. Drinking expensive liquor, check. Bragging about your wealth, check. Threatening those who would steal any of it, check. To be honest examining the lyrics closely starts to take away from the song. It's best to just listen to the beat, enjoy the all-star lineup and ride on the track. In fact the same can be said for a lot of DJ Khaled's "Listennn - The Album." Other than calling up a bunch of homies he knows in the industry and putting as many Southern Florida rappers in the mix as he can, I'm not sure what Khaled's contributions are to this album. There are good beats throughout but he didn't produce most of them. The Runners lace up the opening organs and funk of "Born N Raised" featuring Rick Ross, Pitbull and Trick Daddy. Kanye West does "Grammy Family" with himself, Consequence and John Legend on it. Mr. Collipark does the bizarre but oddly catchy "Never be Nothing Like Me" with Lil' Scrappy and Homeboy. T. Mix handles the slow swinging funk of "Still Fly" with Birdman and Chop. By far though the majority of dope tracks are done by Cool and Dre including "Watch Out" with Akon and Styles P among others, "Destroy You" with Bone Thugs and Twista, and "Candy Paint" featuring Chamillionaire, Trina and Slim Thug:

"That candy paint shinin, fifth wheel reclinin
Rollin on fo's, grippin wood with the diamonds
Yellow and white ice in my mouth got 'em blindin
If you lookin for Thugga I'll tell you where to find him
I'm, M.I.A. in that M-I-A
Fuckin with my nigga Khaled and that Cool and Dre
Tryin to play it how they play 24's on the dump
Sittin high in the sky, lookin low at the punks
Got a trunk full of beat and a freak in every seat
On my way from pre-pay to the Presidential suite"

If you look hard enough you can find a few tracks Khaled did on the album like "Where You At" featuring Freeway and Clipse and "Problem" featuring Beanie Sigel and Jadakiss. They're aight but they don't show anything advanced beyond what any other producer could do. In fact the latter track would be a rather boring piano loop with unexceptional throwaway Beanie Sigel gangsterism if Jada didn't come through with punchlines like "Rather have God arrest me than Satan to bag me." There's nothing really wrong with "Listennn - The Album" but there's nothing really exceptional about it either. I'm not convinced why Khaled Khaled deserved an album than any other DJ in the US in the hip-hop scene let alone Dade County in Florida. He's got connections and I admit he reps where he lives at with pride but so does everybody else these days. The album as a whole has a few standout tracks but Khaled reveals nothing about himself or his personality with the album. Even DJ's like Clue are noteworthy just because of their annoying shoutouts. Khaled is just... there. Here's hoping if he's going to keep releasing mixtapes or compilations he'll show a little more personality.

Music Vibes: 6.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10

Originally posted: June 13, 2006