Hip-hop heads! Prepare for the hottest sound in town. DJ Khaled’s next banger is about to drop (‘Do you mind if I say drop’), and he’s brought in a heat-seeking musical missile to help pump up the flames: the rapper Travis Scott. Rumors that the two were working on an album have been bubbling for several months. After La Flame (Scott) paid a visit to DJ Khaled’s recording studio this week, the rumors have erupted into a bonfire of anticipation.
Instagram stories made from Khaled’s studio have lit up social media like a habanero chili cooking over a grill: Khaled nodding his head to an unseen beat, Scott raising a lighter like a miniature flamethrower, then quickly tucking it away as if he was waving any more would blow the mix. The caption? Enough to give anyone goosebumps. ‘Soon as I played the beat, la flame said turn mic on, of course I agreed new album in works’, Khaled writes. New album in works? Whoosh!
These two ain’t new to trading verses over fire beats, either. They lit up the tracks ‘Tourist’ from Khaled’s brilliant 2016 album Major Key and ‘Top Down’ from 2017’s Grateful. Both an explosion of sonic Molotov cocktails, Khaled’s inspirational voices-in-your-head ad-libs morphing into Scott’s Auto-Tuned swagger. The sound of lava. We’re hooked and need another fix.
So, just what does this pivotal new album hold? Khaled has been teasing its contents like a series of breadcrumbs leading to a verbal banquet. Last summer, his collab on ‘SUPPOSED TO BE LOVED’ with Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Baby, and Future was a preview of what might be cooking. It was trap gold bathed in introspective syrup, which made it clear that Khaled is a musical gift when it comes to curating star-mapped collabs that are genre hopscotch.
But besides the bangers, Khaled’s been positioning this album as a motivational opus. He even dropped this lyrical gem in his recent interview with Variety: ‘I’m going to make this album a reminder for everybody that no matter what you’re going through in life, remember: you got to keep pushing, you gotta be positive, you gotta stay on track, you gotta be focused, and you gotta keep working towards your dreams.’ So imagine one of Khaled’s trademark inspirational anthems sprinkled with Scott’s genre-fusion spice, and perhaps you have what it takes to set the charts ablaze.
This is really happening, yo. This isn’t some snobby indie-rock collaboration, this is a sonic shitstorm bigger than a Yeezy meltdown. DJ Khaled is dropping a sonic hurricane, and Scott will be there riding the wave straight to the top of the charts. Free your calendars. Charge your speakers. Put your hands in the air. Hold on tight. Your eardrums are about to be assaulted with that banging sound that’ll stop your heart with goosebumps. Lyrically lit. Mandatory fist-pumping. The heat.
But this is about more than the music, you all. More than the project between Khaled and Scott that will make or break them. This is about the parity, the uninhibited anticipation, the concept of community, the solid bond of hip-hop fanatics assembling for a jubilant experience, jeering the underdog Khaled to being king of the ring, marveling at the transformation of Scott, who two summers ago was some SoundCloud rap prototype occupying a vast lucrative market, now ascending to something beyond, a global monster, a phenomenon that the multitudes consumed like insatiable piranha, now about the two titans clashing to form one supernova. Yes, rumors are starting, the speculation is soaring, and the hype is rising higher than ever. When this album drops – watch out. This will be a celebration of all things. Hip-hop will rebound and conceal.
And this is only the start. The next few months will be a whirlwind of rumors, leaks, and maybe a couple of tracks along the way to tide us over until the main dish arrives. But until then, stay tuned, stay woke, and stay listening. The kings are cooking, and it’s about to be time to eat.
So go forth, and let the hype machine roar! Tweet this out, tag your homies, and get ready to proudly bellow the refrain of the age: On the day this drops, the world will be screaming, ‘Another one!’