DJ Khaled, "Victory"

62 Billboard Rating

Last year, DJ Khaled was appointed the head of Def Jam South. As a result, "Victory," his fourth album in five years, finds the artist pulling the strings on an understandably triumphant affair. Khaled's approach, however, remains the same, with a constellation of hip-hop stars (Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, T-Pain) imbuing straightforward anthems with their branded swagger. But Ludacris' comedic candor and Snoop Dogg's cool collectedness add differing dimensions to "All I Do Is Win." On the title track, Nas' eternal conflict between ghetto poetry and brag-rap surfaces ("We be on that real shit/Luxury four-wheel shit"), while Usher, Lil Wayne and Drake seem to get lost in the mix on the uninspired, synth-driven "Fed Up," which features production by the Runners. Similarly, Schife & OhZee, another pair with numerous contributions to the album, fail to distinguish themselves from their contemporaries.--Devin Chanda

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