Review Summary: Dear DJ Khaled,
You are not a hero and your albums are not good.
“In life, there’s people that people that hustle. In life, there’s people that grind. And there’s We The Best music, who make history. History is something that cannot be forgotten. I have been through every road block. I have seen and overcome the evilest hate ever that mankind has ever witnessed. They told me no, and I told them yes. I have helped so many, and some have forgotten. I have been challenged, and I always win. I have been through wars, and come out with no scars. I have been tested, and I always pass. This album contains my pain, my blessings. The stars on this album is my voice, the drums on this album is my heartbeat. People feel victory is just a win, victory is a struggle: a journey of life. Victory is accomplishment, victory is a survival. When you’re on your way to the top, they cheer for you. When you reach the top of the mountain, they want you to die. I speak through my music – I’m So Hood, We Takin’ Over, Out Here Grindin’, I Go Hard. I am the streets, you can’t stop what’s destined to win. When they say ‘Khaled’ they say ‘Warrior,’ ‘Loyal,’ ‘The Chosen One.’ It’s always the ones that’s close to you that don’t wanna see you grow. I tell them watch me now and learn. I still find a way to forgive. The more hate, the more love. Only Allah can judge me. Welcome to my victory.
- DJ Khaled speaking on Victory’s “Intro” track.
…and with this speech, DJ Khaled solidifies himself as the musical equivalent of the guy that thinks he’s saving the earth because he recycles his soda cans, and thinks he had it hard growing up because he was only middle class. Victory
is some kind of pretentious. Its self-assigned global importance and pseudo-epic meaning to impoverished, struggling peoples would make me laugh…that is, if being retarded was funny. For an album that has the obvious goal of selling as many copies as possible, DJ Khaled’s disillusionment and misconception of what this album means is seriously funny. But, instead of being the ultimate musical salvage for those who are fraught, it’s just a big musical clash of styles, and a decisive failure.
With 31 different guest artists (many of them “big names,”) hailing from eleven cities, and 3.58333 artists per track, Victory
is quite obviously a ploy at going platinum. The Miami-based DJ Khaled doesn’t even rap on this, only coordinating, promoting, and misguidedly allocating importance to the effort.
While most rappers do conflict themselves, the various statements on Victory
just enlarge the spectrum between the preposterousness of the “meaningful” and “boastful” statements. At one point, Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em claims he has 10,000 chains dangling from his neck, and that’s impressively contradictory to the ostentatious, yet serious, intro statement previously made by Khaled.
In addition to the hypocritical, obnoxiously absurdity of Victory
’s message, are the stylistic conflicts. A quick glance of the track list not only shows the mixed messages, but blatantly portrays the clash in musical styles and the wide incapability of the guests (Bun B and Nas exempt.) Pimpin’ west coast O.G.’s like Snoop Dogg don’t mix well with autotuning, ringtone-rapping club kings like T-Pain, just as snap-beat, dance rapping teenagers such as Soulja Boy shouldn’t appear on the same cut as funk-beat-killing, grown-man punchline masters akin to Bun B.
For multi-regional, unfamiliar rappers working together all on one posse cut, club beats must be employed to downplay the sheer awkwardness of the artist combinations. Other than the one decent song on the album – the title track – which employs a peaceful piano sample and gentle kicks, all the instrumentals are either synth-and-bass heavy or faux-inspirational, horn sampling tracks. Admittedly, a few of the cuts could be good, but the repetitive, formulaic attitude is simply tiring and aggravating.
Possibly the only good thing about this album is the fact that DJ Khaled’s shoutouts are kept to a minimum. However, you know an album is bad when a good Bun B simile ends badly by the same phrase being rhymed twice. Sorry DJ Khaled, but this album is insignificant and
bad. Better luck next time.