DJ Khaled’s Grateful album has officially rolled out on streaming services, just an hour after the 41-year-old artist presented the project on We the Best Radio.
The early premiere was a nice surprise for fans who’ve been waiting on the 23-track album since Khaled announced it back in February. Since then, we’ve received a handful of singles off the star-studded project, such as “Shining” with Beyoncé and Jay Z, “I'm the One” featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne, as well as “Wild Thoughts” with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller.
The rest of the album will include guest appearances by everyone from Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj to Nas and Travis Scott to Drake and Calvin Harris. Khaled’s infant son Asahd also landed a credit as executive producer.
“He is credited as executive producer, and his attorney has his points and royalties, everything,” Khaled explained during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “Listening to the songs, going over the business part of it, [deciding] if the vocals are right, if the beats are right, if the energy’s right. When he [rocks and grins], those are smash hit records, when he [looks deep in thought], that’s the real serious records but hits with substance.”
Grateful is now available to stream on Apple Music and can be purchased on iTunes. To celebrate the project's release, Khaled also dropped a video for the album's intro, “I'm So Grateful.”
If DJ Khaled is known for anything, it's his ability to assemble stars on his records. His first No. 1 single, “I'm the One,” featured the likes of Justin Bieber, Quavo, and Chance the Rapper all in one place, and “Shining,” his song with Jay Z and Beyoncé, fits in that same vein.
During an interview with Ebro and the crew at Hot 97, Khaled dished on the outlandish path it took to get “Shining” made. He claims he had Jay Z in mind when he initially put the record together, and after a meeting with Jay, things were looking up.
“I had a meeting with [Jay] about some things, and I played Jigga the instrumental, because I wanted Jay Z on it, and I wanted to get a single on it,” he said. “I noticed that he liked it out of the gate. I could see it.”
That caused Khaled to get a little overzealous, and he figured he should shoot his shot. “I think you should play this for your wife too,'” Khaled says he told Jay, and that's when Jay's demeanor took a turn. “That's when the face changed, like, 'Yo my man, you doing too much.' But I was like Jigga, trust me, there's going to be a vibe.”
Though Jay appeared standoffish at the time, after a long and winding road involving a presentation at the ESPYs, Roc Nation after parties, and some stray discussions between Khaled, Jay, and Beyoncé, he eventually got his wish. Almost a year passed from the initial meeting—and Khaled was unsure if the song would get done at all—Khaled got a very important phone call the day before the Grammy Awards.
“Jay hit me up like, 'Record done.' I'm going to be honest, when I hear news like that, I shed tears, I shed good emotions,” he said. “I get to the crib, [Jay] played me the record, I went crazy. I'm hearing Beyoncé, I'm hearing Jigga, then he's like, 'Yo, we're dropping this tomorrow night.' I'm like Jay, I gotta mix the record, I gotta put my sprinkles, I gotta clear the sample, I gotta put a plan together… He's like, 'I know you ain't trippin.'”
Aside from talking about his dream record with Jay and Beyoncé, Khaled also continued to talk about his relationship with Birdman. He doubled down on what he said in a recent interview on the subject, saying he believes in keeping a positive focus rather than trashing a former co-worker.
“I want to teach the world something. I got Drake on my album, I got Nicki Minaj album, I have Wayne on my album. It got approved, it got cleared, nobody blocked that,” said Khaled. “Even if it doesn't go your way, it's still an opportunity someone gave you. You might not like certain things, but it's an opportunity, and the answer is to take your opportunity to the next level, and that's what I did.”
You can watch the full interview up top, where Khaled tells his story in a way only Khaled can at the 12:50 mark.
Though a lot of the rap world has been happy to throw dirt on the New York hip-hop scene, Joey Badass continues to carve out his lane within the city's storied history. After coming up through the underground and breaking through with projects like 1999, Badass has since established himself as one of the foremost lyricists in the game on recent projects like All-Amerikkkan Badass.
The 22-year-old rapper walks a fine line between paying homage to the old guard of rap while still staying relevant and fresh in today's scene. Badass sat down with the Everyday Struggle crew on Monday, and talked about a bunch of topics, from the stagnation of New York radio, Amber Rose, and much more. Here's what we learned from the interview.
Joey feels New York radio was slow to recognize him.
The DJs in New York City have a lot of cultural gravitas, and though the streaming era has changed how we hear new music for the first time, Badass noted that he felt unsupported by local radio when he was on the come up.
“There are many ways I could have been more supported,” said Badass. “The world recognized me before my home did. They should have jumped right on it. I was young, I didn’t know how to establish relationships and keep them.”
He takes (some) responsibility for not nurturing relationships early.
Despite how he feels on the radio front, Badass admitted he's partially responsible for his own predicament. Still, he continued to emphasize that people outside his hometown were happy to show love early on compared to his hometown.
“I didn’t realize I was burning a bridge by not communicating,” he said. “I think radio should never be late on local artists. I’m from here, I’m one of the few touring globally. Just me and [ASAP] Rocky … L.A., they've always supported me. I'm getting more love from L.A. than my own town.”
Joey spent a lot of money making All-Amerikkkan Badass, but he doesn't regret it.
Fans like to focus on how much an album sold or how much profit is being made from a tour, but few people think about what it takes to put together an album. Badass highlighted the cost of putting together his latest project, but he told Everyday Struggle it's not a concern for him.
“This is probably the most expensive album,” he said. “I probably spent like, I want to say a quarter [million]. It was definitely worth it, every cent.”
Joey thinks most hip-hop beef is lame.
After Remy Ma put Nicki Minaj on the Summer Jam screen, the Everyday Struggle crew had to talk about their long, drawn-out beef. But the young rapper claims he doesn't really pay any mind to that sort of thing, because he has a preference for settling the score through competitive freestyle instead of trading songs back-and-forth.
“Don't care about that beef shit,” he said. “I prefer sparring. Hip-hop beef is not going back and forth with tracks.”
He thinks you should respect hip-hop's youth movement.
The Everyday Struggle crew has had dust ups with some of the younger rappers in the game—what up, Lil Yachty—but Badass thinks a whole lot of people are underselling just how big some of the kids on the rise are right now.
“Playboi Carti has the whole youth in his hand,” he said. Badass went on to defend Yachty, and accused Budden of downplaying the movement behind him. “You just don't want him to be happy. He might not be a star in two years, [but] he's a mega star right now.”
Remy Ma said she was all done beefing with Nicki Minaj back in May, but when she got her chance on the Summer Jam stage, she did not feel like holding back. Flanked by some of the leading ladies in hip-hop history, Remy openly disrespected Minaj before performing a rendition of her diss track, “Shether.”
According to reports from within MetLife Stadium, Remy brought out a gang of some of the biggest female MC's in hip-hop history, and yes, she made Minaj the next contestant on that Summer Jam screen.
Wait sorry … Remy brought out Lyte, Rage, Kim, cardi b, young ma, Monie love, AND LATIFAH!!! #SummerJam2017
Although plenty of rappers in the past have threatened to air out their business at Summer Jam—Nas planned to hang a dummy meant to look like Jay Z at Summer Jam 2002—few are really willing to take it there. Remy using her performance to put Nicki on blast shows both how much animosity she holds for Minaj and her understanding of the significance of the Summer Jam stage and screen in hip-hop.
Minaj re-sparked the beef when she fired shots at the Bronx native on “Realize,” which may have been enough motivation for Remy to open up this wound again. We'll have to see if this escalates further from here, because you can't back down from a call-out at Summer Jam.
Less than a month after Remy said she was done beefing with the Young Money rapper, 2 Chainz previewed a new track that may re-ignite the long-time feud. The song is titled “Realize” and was debuted during the Pretty Girls Like Trap Music listening party Thursday night.
In the song, you can hear Nicki call out Remy’s husband Papoose by name, accusing him of writing Remy's diss track “ShEHTER.” “Papoose wrote the 'ETHER' record, but I broke Aretha record,” Nicki raps. The line refers to Nicki’s recent Hot 100 record, in which she surpassed Aretha Franklin for the most hits by a female artist.
Will Remy and Papoose respond? Social media seems hopeful.
Along with the new record, 2 Chainz has unveiled the full tracklist for Pretty Girls Like Trap Music. Guests on the 16-song project include Nicki Minaj, Migos, Pharrell, and Swae Lee. Drake also pops up on “Big Amount,” which 2 Chainz previously released on his 2016 mixtape Daniel Son; Necklace Don.
Check out “4 AM” and the tracklist for Pretty Girls Like Trap Music below. The project, due out June 16, is available for pre-order on iTunes.
1. “Saturday Night”
2. “Riverdale Rd”
3. “Good Drank” f/ Gucci Mane and Quavo
4. “4 AM” f/ Travis Scott
5. “Door Swangin”
6. “Realize” f/ Nicki Minaj
7. “Poor Fool” f/ Swae Lee
8. “Big Amount” f/ Drake
9. “It’s a Vibe” f/ Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz, and Jhené Aiko
10. “Rolls Royce Bitch”
11. “Sleep When U Die”
12. “Trap Check”
13. Blue Cheese f/ Migos
14. “OG Kush Diet”
15. “Bailan” f/ Pharrell
16. “Burglar Bars” f/ Monica
It's harder than ever to maintain your composure as a single human being in 2017. Regardless of your gender or sexuality, Instagram models and pictures of your high school crush in a bathing suit are only a few clicks away, and sometimes it's difficult to refrain from stopping at just smashing that like button.
Drake knows this better than anyone. He has songs upon songs dedicated to his pursuit of women, including drunk-dialing anthems for exes like “Marvin's Room,” and he rubs elbows with celebrities average people can only fantasize about. Being a star isn't going to prevent Drake (or anyone else for that matter) from falling for beautiful women or lacking self-awareness from time-to-time.
So in honor of Drake shooting his shot at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, we're going back through some of Drake's thirstiest moments in history, when he let his desire for a woman take him just a little too far. No shade buddy—I have certainly been there before.
Jhené Aiko, Saturday Night Live
Some of you have probably been in a crowded setting—like a graduation party or a reunion—that ends with a lot of people saying goodbye to one another all at once. It can lead to some awkward situations as guests try to be polite, even to people they don't really want to see.
When Drake had the chance to say goodbye to singer Jhené Aiko on the SNL stage in 2014, he didn't want to waste the opportunity. Unfortunately, she did not seem interested in returning the favor, and unlike the struggle hugs at your 10-year reunion, this botched hug was broadcast to millions of people and saved as a GIF for all of eternity. That's a spin move that puts Barry Sanders to shame.
Skylar Diggins, 2014 ESPY's
Once you're a multi-millionaire musician who can, you know, actually hang out with star athletes, it's probably past time to stop wearing their jerseys. But as part of his busted courtship of basketball star Skylar Diggins, Drake walked on the ESPY's stage draped in Diggins' jersey, ready to read an original poem about their theoretical marriage, “Can I Dig In?”
Yes, it was just as corny as it sounds. Diggins was a good sport about the whole thing, but when push came to shove she opted for the parent-like smooch on the forehead, even as sparks quite literally flew behind the pair.
A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Sep 16, 2015 at 1:57pm PDT
At the risk of sounding like a broken record here, there's nothing low-key about calling someone “wifey” to your Instagram following of over 36 million people. Maybe all the broken-hearted songs have been written because Drake hasn't realized some things are best kept between two people, and two people alone.
But unlike with some of his other thirsting, however, Lorde may in fact be cool with it:
OK, so maybe this guy knows what he's doing sometimes.
Mia Khalifa, Down in the DMs
Former porn star Mia Khalifa has made a habit of exposing dudes who try to get all up in her direct messages, and Drake is no exception. During a 2015 interview, Khalifa revealed she had a big celebrity slide into her DMs whose name rhymed with “rake,” so you can put the pieces together fairly easily.
From the sound of things, his flirtation didn't go over well. “It was flattering but his intentions were clear. It was just so cringeworthy,” said Khalifa. Better luck next time, Drizzy.
UNLV's women's team has never drawn over 5,000 people to a home game, but the lack of a following didn't stop Drake from crashing the scene back in 2015. Once he became aware of the presence of a pair of sisters, Dakota and Dylan Gonzalez, the Toronto native started showing up and lurking amongst the sparse crowd at UNLV home games.
Drake is a big hoops fan, of course, but the Lady Rebels were only 18-14 that season. It may help him shed his reputation as a sports front-runner, but that's a lot of mediocre basketball to watch just to meet a couple college girls.
Rihanna, 2016 MTV VMA's
Drake's speech to set up Rihanna's acceptance of the Vanguard Award at the 2016 VMA's was pretty touching for a while, as he talked about their history together and sang her praises as an artist. And then he dropped the now infamous, “She's someone I've been in love with since I was 22 years old” line, and nothing was the same.
When Drake tried to put the moves on her after he speech was done, further evidence on video makes it look as though he got curved. The on-again, off-again nature of their relationship probably makes this look worse than it actually was, but just like that annoying couple you all know and hate follow, he very easily could have said and done this behind closed doors. Based on some of the looks on her face during his speech, Rihanna seemed like she also would have preferred a more private moment.
A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Aug 26, 2016 at 3:43pm PDT
Speaking of that moment at the VMA's, Drake also went through the trouble of broadcasting his appreciation for Rihanna on a billboard spotted by the singer. I've heard of grand gestures, but you could send some flowers or treat her to a spa day and I promise she'll appreciate it just as much, my guy.
We could probably do a whole list of Rihanna-related thirst from Drake. Remember, this is the guy who said he wanted to “go half on a baby” with the singer during a concert shortly before the 2016 VMA's.
Doris Burke is one of basketball's leading ladies, so it's hard to blame Drake for taking a liking to the whip-smart ESPN analyst. But wearing her face on a sweatshirt and asking her out to dinner through an interview courtside? That's a little bit much. But maybe Drake knows better on this one—Burke seems like she's into the idea.
Drake's latest foray into public thirst is just the latest in a long line of questionable decisions. After carving out some space in his acceptance speech to say Vanessa Hudgens looked “incredible,” Drake decided to take his admiration of her beauty to the next level almost immediately. He did what any admiring man would do in his shoes: he took it to the 'gram.
I have a lot of respect for the two-pronged attack, even if Nicki Minaj didn't seem all that pleased about it in the crowd.
Nicki Minaj, Their Entire Relationship
While Drake's turn as an admiring lap-dance viewer was mostly for show in the “Anaconda” music video, the image of him staring down Nicki isn't exactly off-brand in the history of their relationship. On Nicki's song “Only,” Drake admits the only reason he hasn't slept with her is because she already has a man in her life.
Of course, someone being tied up with a significant other has never stopped him before, and he reiterated on “Only” he wasn't done with his pursuit. “When that's over, then I'm the first in line,” he said at the time. He and Nicki have had a rocky relationship in the years since that song dropped, but things are looking up as of late. Maybe all this waiting in line will finally pay off!
“I had a close friend of mine that didn't support my album, but then, like, supported other people's stuff, and I asked him why,” Drake said during his acceptance speech after winning the award for Top Billboard 200 Album for Views at the Billboard Music Awards. “The response was 'I don't want to look thirsty, and you get enough love as it is.'” That interaction taughtDrizzy a valuable lesson: “We're all here on Earth for a limited amount of time. We gotta show love while we're here.”
Then, Drake got a couple of things off his chest. “Vanessa Hudgens, you look…incredible tonight.” Now we all know what was going through the rapper's mind when the camera caught him staring at Hudgens during the opening monologue.