When DJ Khaled was piecing together his
album Listennn he decided to make it big. The LP boasts a roster that
brings rappers from various regions and with varying styles together for what
should be a deadly concoction.
Not only is it produced by Khaled, Cool and Dre
and others who are responsible for many of today’s most heard singles but it’s
also got Southern chart toppers like Paul Wall, T.I., Trick Daddy,
Trina, Rick Ross, Bun B., Chamillionaire and Pitbull
just to name a few. What more could fans ask for? To please Eastcoast heads,
it’s got some of the NY’s illest including Jadakiss, Styles P
and Fat Joe. To top it off, it even has G.O.O.D Music’s
so-called “Grammy Family,” including Kanye West, Consequence
and John Legend. With all these pieces, who knew the project
would disappoint in the end?
This sure-fire hit simply misses its mark because it isn’t a full hearted
effort. One of the world’s reigning kings of rap Kanye West
delivers his most lackluster performance of the year on “Grammy Family.”
West and his label mates do nothing to back up their various
Grammy nods in the past, and do nothing to enhance this record. Kanye
even seems to have forgotten that he condemned rappers for bashing the
homosexual community as he refers to radio stations that rejected him as “faggots”.
But, it’s not only Kanye who delivers a sluggish verse. Khaled’s
good friend Fat Joe also does not seem to give it his all. Lil
Wayne and T.I. give Khaled
uninspired offerings. Even Dre from Cool & Dre
tries to spark a “Movement”
with a song that falls dry with weak rhyming skills. Lyrically, the pieces of
this puzzle were lost.
Musically, Khaled and the crew keep it dirty with “Born and
Raised,” which is an infectious anthem. Sadly, they follow it up with the
repetitive “Gangsta Shit.” “Holla At Me” and “Destroy You” are crowd pleasers. “Problem”
and “Where You At” are definitely some street bangers, but they aren’t enough
to make up for the monotony of the record overall. To top it off, Khaled
didn’t appear on or produce some of the tracks on his album. Still, the beats
do manage to keep the listener’s interest, but it’s simply not enough.
It’s sad to see such a cast fall so terribly. All of these stars could have
contributed to make this a great compilation of today’s hit-makers. Instead,
they treated it as if it were a mix-tape, unworthy of inspired rhymes and
strong delivery. Although the beats are somewhat catchy, the rhymes do nothing
to make one actually Listennn. If nothing else, this album shows off Khaled’s
connections, but it does little justice to Khaled’s talent.