By: Kevin Schoenfeld
DJ Khaled’s newly released Suffering From Success is a must listen for fans of upbeat hip-hop music. The album is a reflection of Khaled’s emphasis on combining electronic beats with hip-hop/rap vocals. Like previous records, it is heavy on the collaborations. Such collaborations include some of the biggest names in the hip-hop industry right now: Ace Hood, Akon, Big Sean, Chris Brown, Drake, French Montana, Future, J Cole, Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, T.I., Wiz Khalifa, Wale, and 2Chainz (to name a few). There is an interesting array of Hip-Hop, Rap, Reggae, R&B, Pop, Trap, and Dance elements dispersed throughout the record. While this album may not be for everyone it is worth checking out, an overall fun listen, and would make a good soundtrack for partying. Tracks #2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 11, & 15 are the best in my opinion.
- Obama (Winning More Interlude) – The first song off the album is not exactly a song at all. It’s just a few snippets of Khaled’s older tracks and patriotic music. Not the best way to start off a pretty good album. Left me confused.
- Suffering From Success (feat. Ace Hood & Future) – Title track of Suffering From Success has potential to become a hit. It’s funky, futuristic beats combined with catchy lyrics work well to create a smooth flow and give unique character to the song. Ace Hood does a great job with his raps and initiates good vibes that last throughout.
- I Feel Like Pac / I Feel Like Biggie (feat. Rick Ross, Meek Mill, T.I., Swizz Beats & Puff Daddy) – Exceptional follow up from previous track that keeps your head-bopping. Rick Ross initially hooks you in with each verse to follow flowing very well into the next. TI’s part is excellent and very on point; fair to say it’s probably the best part of the song. Overall I do not think that DJ Kahled has the cred to compare himself to 2pac or Biggie, the song itself is pretty good.
- You Don’t Want These Problems (feat. Big Sean, Rick Ross, French Montana, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Ace Hood & Timbaland) – This is a feel good and carefree song. The massive amount of collaboration absolutely defines this song with each verse having its own character indicative of its respective rapper. Big Sean starts the song off and does a pretty dope job. Rick Ross’s verse follows but sounds almost aggressive, defiantly not his best work. French Montana’s verse is one of the better of the bunch and flows nicely into 2 Chainz’s part. Ace Hood’s verse is mediocre at best and the song would probably be better without it. At the end, Timbaland tops it off and adds his own unique element to complement the song in a splendid way.
- Blackball (feat. Future, Ace Hood & Piles) – At first, Future’s part starts off slow but quickly picks up to an aggressive, almost screaming tone of voice. Future is definitely a better addition when he is toned down. The song itself is upbeat and swayable, progressively speeding up throughout. Ace Hoods verse is much better than in the previous song.
- No Motive (feat. Lil Wayne) – A nice beat combined with Lil Wayne’s distinct flow combines together sweetly. It’s a short song that has a dark undertone to it. The beat sounds like a harp almost. Interesting to say the least.
- I’m Still (feat. Chris Brown, Ace Hood, Wiz Khalifa & Wale) – Favorite song off the album by far. Chris Brown really works it with his beautiful vocals in combination with a killer beat. Each verse works well with the other with Wiz Khalifa being a close second in terms of best contributions to the track. The hook of the song is definitely the best part. Very catchy and hit worthy.
- I Wanna Be With You (feat. Nicki Minaj, Future & Rick Ross) – The second single off the album is also one of the best. This love song was apparently originally intended for Nicki Minaj, although the debate of whether or not it was a publicity stunt is still ongoing. Future’s unique voice works very well in this song. It’s fun, upbeat, catchy, and actually meaningful. DJ Khaled’s verse at the end is his best solo rapping contribution in the album.
- No New Friends (feat. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne) – As the first single off Suffering From Success, it does a perfect job portraying the type of sound and vibe given off by the rest of the album. It is fun and catchy anthem about friendship that was very well done. Drake’s verse is flawless, absolutely defining this song. It’s has a lot of trap (trance/rap) influence and is heavy on the bass. Rick Ross’s verse is superb as well and Lil Wayne’s raunchy addition at the end just tops it off. Personally prefer the clean version of this song better.
- Give It All To Me (feat. Mavado & Nicki Minaj) – This reggae track is a drastic transition from the previous songs. It’s got a slower rhythm but is swayable and enjoyable nonetheless. At first, Mavado is kind of hard to understand. Nicki Minaj’s addition adds the perfect amount of hip-hop and pop to top it off.
- Hell’s Kitchen (feat. J Cole & Bas) – One of the most unique and definable tracks off the album. It starts off with a nice, toned-down beat until J Cole gets right at it and kills it with his irresistible raps. Bas adds a slower pop element that works well with J Cole. Great song and most definitely worth listening to.
- Never Surrender (feat. Scarface, Jadakiss, Meek Mill, Akon, John Legend & Anthony Hamilton) – I found this song harsher to listen to at first but turns out to be one of the more distinct tracks off the album. Jadakiss and Akon are the most notable contributors to this song. Some soul elements are incorporated throughout in addition to soothing R&B vocals in the background.
- Mucielage (Doors Go Up) (feat. Birdman & Meek Mill) – Good hip-hop track overall but no unique character to it. Meek Mill and Birdman work well together but this track lacks a defined sound. Overall kind of boring.
- Black Ghost (feat. Vado) – First track of the bonus version has an interesting beat that hooks you in. It’s a fast moving, upbeat rap song. Nothing too defined about it overall either but it does flow well.
- Take That Off (feat. Vado & Jeremiah) – In this song, Jeremiah does a nice job sweetly combining R&B with rap vocals. He sounds almost like Trey Songz in some parts. Enjoyable and soothing track.
- Weed & Hennessy (feat. Mavado) – Last song off Suffering From Success is another reggae track with trap and rap elements. Nothing to special about this track either, which left me disappointed with the bonus version. Not the strongest close to a pretty decent album but its alright nonetheless.