It’s the waning days of summer, as blockbuster season gives way to low-expectation season. But DJ Khaled slips under the closing door like Indiana Jones to give it to us God made, his thirteenth (13th!) solo album. The producer-executive-social media personality-professional yeller’s latest LP fits his trend of high-sheen, big-budget releases, featuring a guest list full of bankable stars (Jay-Z, Drake, Eminem, Future), and exciting new talents ( Skillibeng, Latto, Nardo Wick).
As presaged by his advance single, “Staying Alive”—the warm Drake and Lil Baby collaboration that interpolates the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever hit—God made it is an album that constantly swings for the fences, aiming for viral moments, radio hits, and street cred all at once.
Here are the big moments that got the crowd buzzing, including a sprawling Jay-Z verse, an inspired turn from 21 Savage, and a sample that’s really outside the ’80s box.
Jay-Z wants us to know that he is rich and has made others rich too.
Jay-Z is 52, worth over a billion dollars, and has a very rich life. He doesn’t have to keep rapping, so when he steps into the booth, it always gets the attention of the hip-hop community as a whole.
His verse on the album’s title track is the equivalent of an NBA offense clearing out for a superstar, as he raps 80 bars to close out “God Did.” Some phrases already have the internet buzzing, including one where he raps about his 10-figure family tree: “How many billionaires can come from the Hov crib? / I’m counting three, me, Ye and Rih / Bron is a Roc boy, so four, technically.” The verse also cleverly compares Jay’s Brooklyn hustler roots to the way drug culture has changed. “Now weed in the shops, can you believe it, Ty?” he jokes.
There are a few clunker lines, mainly one where he compares the sale of Fenty’s Fenty clothing line to fentanyl, but it’s a broad verse that allows Jay to flaunt his corporate prowess as only he can. Or, as he puts it, “We’re corner men with a corner office.”
A three-year-old Juice WRLD collaboration has finally seen the light of day.
Juice WRLD’s “Another One” was first previewed more than three years ago, with no direct contributions from Khaled, but with several references to him and his signature catchphrases. Although it leaked, the song finally got an official release as “Juice WRLD Did.”
Produced by regular Juice collaborators Nick Mira and DT, it immediately stands out God made it tracklist. It’s a catchy song, a testament to the rapper’s writing prowess and penchant for peppering his verses with recognizable pop culture references.
“Juice WRLD Did” didn’t mesh seamlessly with the other songs on Khaled’s album, but he said that Lil Bibby randomly sent it to him and he felt compelled to include it. Either way, it’s nice to hear the voice of a truly talented artist so early.
Latto continues to effortlessly put his own stamp on the classics.