DJ Khaled has assembled a star-studded dancehall lineup for his new album with Koffee, Bounty Killer, Capleton, Buju Banton, Barrington Levy, and other artists. The album called Khaled Khaled” is almost ready at 98% done, according to the legendary music producer who is in Jamaica.
DJ Khaled has always been a fan of and includes reggae and dancehall acts in his projects, but this might be the first time that he is featuring so many artists on his album. What’s even more unique about the new project is that, unlike other overseas producers/ artists who worked with Jamaican acts, Khaled flew down to Jamaica. He also brought his crew to record and shoot music videos in Jamaica, so money from the album production is flowing directly into the island.
The new album is Khaled’s 12th studio album, and among those who are going to be featured are Migos and H.E.R. They are also in Jamaica for a week as they wrap up filming. Several other A-listers are said to be on the album, which includes Post Malone and Drake, who are on the first two tracks of the album. The tracks -“Popstar” and “Greece” have already been released. The songs mark the reunion of Drake and DJ Khaled, who last worked together in 2010.
Both songs debuted at No. 8 and No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively, marking the Canadian rapper’s 39th and 40th Hot 100 top ten song entries- achieving a milestone as it broke Madonna’s 18-year record.
In the U.S, “Greece was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling one million-plus copies while “Popstar” was certified 2x platinum-selling more than two (2) million copies.
DJ Khaled also has released a trailer for a “Reggae-tinged” version of the song “Popstar” with a video featuring Khaled and Spanish actor and filmmaker from Speed Kills and Ibiza– Jordi Molla. The music for the trail is Sizzla’s “Rise To The Occasion.”
The music producer has collaborated on several past projects with dancehall artists, including the 2020 release of “Holy Mountain” featuring Buju Banton, Sizzla, Mavado, and 070 Shake. The video for the song was shot in Jamaica with all of the artists along with Khaled together.
The dancehall acts that Khaled has enlisted for his 12th studio album so far are all legendary acts within the industry. He said, “working on something special I never forget where I come from. JAH LIV!”
Several of the artists re-shared images and videos of themselves with Khaled as fans shared their hopes for great music. Barrington Levy, on his official Instagram account, said, “In the studio w/the Best. Good vibes and much love always. Heat coming your way, be on the lookout…Just wait for it it’s going to be grande.”
He also shared photos of himself with DJ Khaled on the Sandals-owned luxury property Villa Rio Chico where Khaled and his family and film crew are all staying. “wait for it, it’s going to be epic…”
The artist is known for his hit singles like “Black Roses”, “Too Experienced’, ‘Living Dangerously” featuring Bounty Killer, “Collie Weed”- a homage to the practice of smoking marijuana, “Here I Come,” “Shine Eye Girl,” and “Ah Yah We Deh” just to name a few of his hits.
Fans are expecting heavy dancehall and reggae influence on the album, even as DJ Khaled says he’s working on getting the album ready for release when he leaves Jamaica. He hasn’t shared more details on the names of the upcoming songs and how the collaborations will be paired.
In a video, DJ Khaled commented on the star-studded lineup as he praised both Levy and King Shango while they were on set. “HISTORY!!!” he wrote on his official Instagram account. “Listen, legendary Barrington Levy..legendary, legendary, legendary, Barrington Levy, Bounty, Buju, Fireman (Capleton), they don’t just come out for anybody.”
In other posts, Khaled emphasized that his twelfth album will be a “very special album.” The Album comes on the heels of his 11th album named “Father of Asahd,” named after his son. The 12th album “Khaled Khaled” is indeed special for DJ Khaled as it is named after his real name – Khaled Mohamed Khaled.
Khaled’s coming of age in the world of music is quite fascinating as he once told Larry King in an interview that he was a devout Muslim. That, however, hasn’t stopped him from making positive, feel-good music. Over the years, he has been accused of being a culture vulture to Jamaican music. However, if you look closely, you might be able to see that the reason he says that the album is special because it is paying homage to some of the people and the genres of music that helped him to cement his foot in music.
This includes the foundational figures in Dancehall who brought the DJ down to perform at shows in Jamaica. He would often visit the island and link up with the likes of Bounty Killer as he played sets at street dances in the inner cities of Jamaica.
His stint as a DJ also saw him paying homage to dancehall and reggae music on his shows in the 1990s- on Mix 96 and later Jamz 99in Miami where he played regular rotations of Dancehall and Reggae Music as well at Madhouse club and others in the South Florida area in the early 2000s.
Khaled was also in Jamaica deejaying at several events on the island, including Summer Jam in 2000. For some old enough to know the musical link, it’s acknowledged even by Khaled that his talent was appreciated and recognized in Jamaica long before it was in other parts of the United States and the world.
It was indeed the stepping stone he needed to make a mark in the hip hop/ rap world, which was just becoming introduced to the act of “toasting” or deejaying- a Jamaican phenomenon copied and replicated in hip hop parties.
DJ Khaled was also featured on Bounty Killer’s album “Ghetto Dictionary: Art of War” released in 2002 on the single “Bring the War On” featuring DJ Kalid [sic] as he was then known. His connection to dancehall goes deep with his many dubplates of dancehall finest even as they too were striving to make a name for themselves.
He has featured in the Jamaican movie Shotta and had signed Mavado to his ‘We The Best’ Label following advice from Bounty Killer. He has also maintained a close friendship with Buju Banton, even visiting the reggae star while he was incarcerated for drugs dealing in the United States and coming to visit Buju after he was released as he introduced his children to Buju.
Nobody goes as hard when it comes to their album as DJ Khaled, but especially when it comes to Jamaica, the DJ shares a special relationship with the island, as many are coming to acknowledge. Hopefully, the latest album will cause the claim that he is a culture vulture to diffuse and also cause him to open new doors for some younger Jamaican artists to enter the mainstream hip hop and rap industry.
DJ Khaled’s album Khaled Khaled is slated for release by summer 2021.