Friday, May 19th, 2017

DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne – I’m the One

You are, but it’s not much fun.


Adaora Ede: DJ Khaled enlists a ragtag melange of uptempo tracks layered upon another; it’s a whirring pool of high profile features and summer vibes. Before one could even begin to muse on how Quavo (and the boys) is even able to appear in the music video for every top 40 song in the past month, the verse is over, and left in the dust is another not very memorable and very same-y rap from the Migo. Lil Wayne is here, apparently, decidedly drenched in a beautiful cape of Autotune. His appearance is not very good and I’d like to move on. Justin Bieber’s chorus reminds me of the fact that he’s actually a small white boy from Ontario- as much as he’d like to pull off the pensive RnB darling thing, he sounds (and looks, lmao) out of place with forced West Indian cadence that I’m just gonna assume was meant to be demo vocals for Chris Brown. On a more positive note, Chance’s quirky style overcomes and happens to be my personal favorite verse- although I feel as if it could’ve gone to better use in an Amine song or something else of the trendier like. But still, good grief, Khaled, don’t act like we don’t notice how the superimposition of your vocal tag throughout the song makes it sound like you jacked a song off of a video entitled “DJ MUSTARD-TYPE BEAT$$”. The rodeo-esque inflections signal a “Timber” for the age that forgot Avicii, but it is simply devoid of the good-natured FUN found in any Pitbull song.

Thomas Inskeep: So which one of them is “the one”? In this scenario, none of ’em. The most unappealingly minimalist #1 in — maybe ever. And none of these guys acquits himself particularly well. 

Alfred Soto: This successful example of cross-platform marketing puts four stars and two stars in training through the pledging-my-troth paces but gives them nothing but a reggaeton-inflected melody and Hallmark crap. Was the bro from MAGIC! unavailable?

Iain Mew: If you’re one of “all those other imitators” called out in this claim to stand alone, you don’t need much to hit back — you can get them at “hola,” or at least “konnichiwa.”

Maxwell Cavaseno: You know, pop rap needn’t feel so Happy Meal just to try and chase a hit in 2017, yet for some reason Nic Nac (now calling himself LetMeSeeYou???) and DJ Khaled decided we needed to go back to the Jim Jonsin/Kane Beatz-era of Rugrat Rap. Sure, it makes sense to try to get ground floor on the summer smash, but it’s a weird misread of the Chance/Yachty ‘carefree’ vibe as ‘kiddie pool’. The performances here are also weird with Bieber doing a throwaway vocal, and Chance mugging up in a way that feels like he’s Dumbing Down with heavy emphasis so he can back away from “Whoops, they made me do an icky commercial record!” down the line. Quavo and Wayne at least are used to having to try to compliment shit records with decent verses; hell, Wayne’s been doing it since my youngest sibling was old enough to watch cartoons that had this beat as a soundtrack. But all in all, this is record is dumbfounding and just plain dumb.

Will Adams: New Lonely Island sounds dope.

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