1. We The Best Forever (DJ Khaled)
"Welcome to my hood".
DJ Khaled thinks he is the King of the mixtape.
What other way can you read into the front cover of his fourth mixtape, We The Best Forever, which has the producer and radio host sitting on a throne blowing smoke.
Quite possibly the hardest working man in hip hop, no one can deny that Khaled has an amazing ability in persuading the biggest names in the game to work with him. With mates like Ludacris, Lil Wayne, Drake and T-Pain, this must be an easy task. But where the DJ really excels, when it comes to making his mixtapes, is how he brings all these artists together in order to craft a record of club banger after club banger.
Beginning We The Best Forever with the brilliant T-Minus produced I'm On One, Khaled gets Drake, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross to drop smart bars on one of the catchiest songs of the year - shouts should also go out to Drake and Ross who begin their verses with two of the biggest openers of the year ("I'm getting so cold, I ain't worked this hard since I was 18") and ("I'm burning purple flowers, it's burning my chest, I bury the most cash and burning the rest"). The combination of the three is perfect and it is no surprise that Khaled chose this as it's first single.
Khaled also takes aim at Diddy's title of being the King of the remix, as his remix of Ace Hood's Welcome To My Hood is mammoth in size and features all off Luda, T-Pain, Busta, Twista, Mavado, Birdman, Ace Hood, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Bun B, The Game and Waka Flocka. One would think that after the third or fourth feature, the song would get tired. It does not, however, as each verse gets better and better.
Other highlights include I'm Thuggin, with Waka Flocka and Ace Hood - a song that is sure to have been bumping out of the black tints of SUV's in the Dirty South. And on Money, Young Jeezy and Ludacris flow brilliantly on the Cool and Dre produced track.
Unlike most of his other mixtape efforts, Khaled tries to add some variety to We The Best Forever with the introduction of some very good R&B songs. On the radio friendly Legendary, Khaled pairs Chris Brown, Ne-yo and Keyshia Cole together on the motivational song of the mixtape, especially on Keyshia's verse ("everybody's gonna fight, and everybody's gonna fall, but its the ones who get up who are always the strongest"). And on It Ain't Over Til It's Over, legendary diva Mary J Blige is joined by Fabolous and Jadakiss on a very memorable song.
Song of the album, apart from the obvious I'm On One and Welcome To My Hood, is the infectious Sleep When I'm Done. Featuring Cee Lo and The Game, the song is a cool ode to all the hard workers out there.
Although you usually get more of the same with a DJ Khaled mixtape, the fact that he uses a tried and tested formula here should not affect your opinions on the mixtape. It is full of gangsta bangers, motivational anthems and radio friendly R&B that is enjoyable from start to finish.
He may not be the best, but he damn well knows how to release a mixtape.
Choons to download: I'm On One, Welcome To My Hood remix, Money, I'm Thuggin