DJ Khaled’s new album “Khaled Khaled” features an all-star line-up of dancehall/reggae artists, including Koffee, Bounty Killer, Capelton, Buju Banton, and Barrington Levy. According to the legendary music producer, the album is “almost ready at 98 percent done.” DJ Khaled is a big fan of dancehall and reggae performers and has included them in his projects, but this is the first time that he has gathered so many of them for an album. The “Khaled Khaled” project is also unique in that DJ Khaled, unlike other producers, traveled to Jamaica, to personally work with the featured Jamaican acts, bringing his crew with him to record and shoot music videos on the island. This means that the money from the production of the album flows directly to Jamaica.
“Khaled Khaled” is the deejay’s 12th studio album. The first two tracks on the album feature Post Malone and Drake with “Popstar” and “Greece,” two songs that have already been released and mark Khaled’s first time working with Drake since 2010. “Popstar” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 8, while “Greece” debuted at No. 3, the 39th and 40th Hot 100 Top 10 song entries for the Canadian rapper. The Hot 100 ranking is notable because it broke the 18-year record set by Madonna.
DJ Khaled has long had a special relationship with Jamaica, and he says that the new album pays homage to some of the people and musical genres that secured his place in the music industry, including a number of foundational dancehall artists who brought him to the island to perform shows. DJ Khaled often visited Jamaica and connected with artists like Bounty Killer when he played sets at street dances. DJ Khaled also paid homage to dancehall and reggae music on his 1990s shows on Mix 96 and Jamz 99 in Miami and at shows in South Florida in the 2000s. He also deejayed at Summer Jam in Jamaica in 2000.
DJ Khaled was appreciated on the island long before he became popular in other parts of the world. Jamaica represented a “steppingstone” to the hip-hop/rap world at a time when it was just recognizing the act of “toasting,” a Jamaican activity copied at hip-hop parties. DJ Khaled featured on Bounty Killer’s “Ghetto Dictionary: Art of War” album, which was released in 2002. He also featured in the Jamaica film “Shotta” and signed Mavado to his “We The Best” recording label on the advice of Bounty Killer. DJ Khaled has maintained his close friendship with Buju Banton throughout the years, visiting the reggae artist when he was in prison and after his release.
DJ Khaled’s album “Khaled Khaled” will be released in the summer of 2021.
Photo – DJ Khaled’s Instagram