Here is an interesting review on the major collaboration by DJ Khaled everybody is talking about, Top Off.
DJ Khaled’s frenzied approach to packing his singles with maximum star wattage occasionally serves up something strangely novel: Last year’s dirtbag boy-band anthem “I’m the One” was perhaps the closest we’ll ever get to Justin Bieber guesting on a Lonely Island cut, and the Santana-sampling Rihanna-Bryson Tiller team-up “Wild Thoughts” made history as possibly the raunchiest song to ever reference Super Bowl III. Unfortunately, “Top Off”—a superpowered collaboration between Future, Beyoncé, and JAY-Z from Khaled’s forthcoming album Father of Asahd—is more bland than it is bizarrely successful, proof that Khaled’s blockbuster-stuffed style often suffocates under the heft of its own bravado.
Even on paper, the combination doesn’t really work: These personalities are simply too distinct at this point to produce something compelling when shoved together on the same track. Recent iterations of the three working together under the Khaled banner—2016’s droning Future/JAY-Z cut “I Got the Keys,” Beyoncé and JAY’s low-stakes “Shining” from last year—have fallen flat. Bey takes top prize here, rapping over the track’s tin-plated bombast in a way that sounds like she’s actually having fun; JAY is fine, while Future’s hollered hook practically smacks of self-plagiarism—delivered with all the passion of Dewey Cox drifting off during sex. In 2018, DJ Khaled is basically the pop-music Guy Fieri—a figure once derided, but now respected and even celebrated due to his sheer omnipresence—and listening to “Top Off” is like dining at one of Fieri’s restaurants. It’s nothing but empty calories and wasted FitPoints.
First published on PitchFork