Death of the Critic

Major Key - Review

Written by: Tom Blaich


Ever since DJ Khaled's ridiculous snap trend earlier this year, the term "Major Key" has become almost an internet meme. He's taken social media by storm and he is not afraid to let you know. He pulled all of his amazing array of strings to assemble an impressive rogues gallery of some of the biggest names in the business to drop rhymes over his production.

From Jay Z to Future to Drake and Nas the album is full of heavy hitters, with a list that should surprise and excite long time hip hop fans. Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Nas, Big Sean,
Kendrick Lamar, Jeremih, French Montana, YG, Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, Meghan Trainor, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Fat Joe, Kent Jones, Travis Scott, Wale, Mavado, Betty Wright, Bryson Tiller, Kodak Black, Jeezy, August Alsina, J. Cole, and Wiz Khalifa help round out an impressive list.

While it is his ninth full studio album, it might be the most impressive one so far, and it is a great example of what a producer album can be. It is essentially a curated playlist of 14 songs chosen by Khaled for us to finish out the summer with. It isn't exactly a cohesive story being told, casting aside storytelling for singles, loosely connected by the term "major key" and the albums production.

These little reminders of DJ Khaled are actually my least favorite part. Every time I hear him grunt out one of his many producer tags or one of the ensembles blurt out something about their "major key", I am forcibly pulled out of the music. It makes it hard for me to take the music seriously after watching the man's Snapchat. I want to hear Nas rap, not talk about your major key

It's unfortunate because there are some really, really good tracks on this album, and some better features. It kicks off with an amazing set with "I Got the Keys" before hopping into "For free" and "Nas Album Done". Which for me is probably the best 2 tracks on the album. You have Drake going hard over a solid beat in "For Free" before Nas takes his turn, with Khaled wisely choosing to remain mostly silent. J. Cole's "Jermaine's Interlude" is fantastic and you can definitely see a strong trap influence carrying thourhgout the album, rearing its head in "Fuck up the Club" and "Tourist".

You can see a real growth between this album and Khaled's previous work, showing a willingness to adapt to different styles and sounds along with giving the artists a lot of freedom on their tracks. I never thought I would hear some of this stuff coming out of Khaled, like the personal "Jermaine's Interlude", which would almost fit in fine in 14 Forest Hills Drive. I can't imagine a few of these songs making it onto any of his earlier albums. That being said, he is still his own biggest enemy, and Major Key shines the brightest when he steps away from the spotlight and lets the artists take control.

1. I Got The Keys (Feat. Jay Z and Future)
2. For Free (Feat. Drake)
3. Nas Album Done (Feat. Nas)
4. Holy Key (Feat. Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, and Betty Wright)
5. Jermaine's Interlude (Feat. J. Cole)
6. Ima Be Alright (Feat. Bryson Tiller and Future)
7. Do You Mind (Feat. Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Jeremih, Future, August Alsina, and Rick Ross)
8. Pick These Hoes Apart (Feat. Kodak Black, Jeezy, and French Montana)
9. Fuck Up The Club (Feat. Future, Yo Gotti, Rick Ross, and YG)
10. Work For It (Feat. Big Sean, Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz)
11. Don't Ever Play Yourself (Feat. Jadakiss, Fabulous, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, and Kent Jones)
12. Tourist (Feat. Travis Scott and Lil Wayne)
13. Forgive Me Father (Feat. Meghan Trainor, Wiz Khalifa, and Wale)
14. Progress (Feat. Mavado)

This title was reviewed before the inception of our current review system and as such is not scored. We still stand by the content of our old reviews.

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Tom has been writing about media since he was a senior in high school. He likes long walks on the beach, dark liquor, and when characters reload guns in action movies.

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