Thanks to his excellent calendar-coordinating skills and a natural ability to bark out catchphrases, DJ Khaled has put together an impressive run of summer anthems in the past several years. From 2007’s star-studded “We Takin’ Over” to last year’s Drake-and-Rick Ross showcase “I’m on One,” Khaled has overseen hits that almost justify his oft-repeated claim (and title of his 2007 album) We the Best. As Khaled preps his sixth album, Kiss the Ring for an August 21 release on Cash Money, the latest track to emerge from Khaled’s vaults looks like his best shot yet at repeating his winning streak in 2012, but it’s a wearisome one that suggests this man’s inexplicable run at the top might be mercifully nearing an end.
Maybe that’s just premature schadenfreude. After all, “I Wish You Would” (via Nah Right) returns to the soaring synth-rap style Khaled has been riding successfully for more than five years now, this time Gotham City’d-out courtesy of of-the-moment producer Hit Boi (“Niggas in Paris,” “Come on a Cone”). Kanye West is here, reviving the Auto-Tune crooning he brought to Khaled’s 2008 T-Pain zeitgeist-grabber “Go Hard,” and Rick Ross shows up, too, grunting the way he always does. It’s star-studded, safe-bet radio fare. Except this time West echoes a twee English nursery rhyme, and Ross’ threatening rumbles about making it rain sound less alert than usual. Most importantly for a hit-maker like Khaled, the hook is curiously limp.
“Every year gonna be our year,” West raps, but for once, that’s increasingly unclear. Khaled’s other recent tracks — “Way Too Cold” (born “Theraflu”), with Yeezy, and “Take It to the Head” with Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Ross — have been similarly forgettable. “We believe in God, but does God believe in us?” West wonders here, on some “Church in the Wild” shit. It’s a commendable attempt to lift the track above its generic trappings, but Khaled might not actually be the best guy to ask.