Artist: DJ KhaledTitle: Listennn…The AlbumRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Jamiyl Samuels
Once synonymous with Luther “Luke” Campbell and bass music, the state of Florida has stepped up in the past few years as a viable outlet for Hip-Hop. Like the recent emergence of Houston, and The Bay Area before them, Miami has become a hotbed of style, courtesy of Dre’s (of Cool & Dre) hit “Chevy Ridin’ High”, and lyrical substance. Where Trick Daddy and Trina left the door ajar for Miami Hip-Hop to assimilate itself into the mainstream, newcomers Pitbull, Rick Ross, and now DJ Khaled with his debut Listennn…The Album (Koch), have opened up the floodgates.
DJ Khaled goes out of his way to put his adopted hometown of Dade County on the Hip-Hop map. The first song “Born N Raised” begins the love fest courtesy of the aforementioned Trick Daddy, Pitbull and Rick Ross. Even Lil’ Wayne jumps on the bandwagon with his solo shot “MIA” where he raps “‘Til they rebuild New Orleans that’s where I stay…I’m a South Beach soldier…”. The last track on the CD spotlights the young upstarts of Miami, showing the future is a bright one for the Sunshine State.
The guests aren’t confined to Dade County, however. Khaled wins by successfully representing artists from all regions. The highlights are plenty on this disc, with the standout track being “Problem”. The Khaled produced “Problem” features a rejuvenated Beanie Sigel and a witty Jadakiss, who share a track for the first time since 1998’s “Reservoir Dogs”. Kanye West modestly calls his G.O.O.D Music label mates a “Grammy Family” with Consequence and John Legend to stellar results. A driven Juelz Santana puts out a winner with “Addicted”, a biographical look into his street upbringing, touching on its sincerity.
There are some missteps. “Gangsta Shit” is bogged down by a generic hook, Birdman breaks no new ground with the drab “Still Fly” replete with underwhelming ad-lib crooning from newcomer Chop, and Trina seems out of place with Slim Thug and Chamillionaire on the custom ride anthem “Candy Paint”.
Listennn…The Album does well to represent all regions of the Hip-Hop nation successfully making DJ Khaled’s first release on Koch definitely worth listennnn-ing to.