On DJ Khaled’s 2017 album, Grateful, the Florida-based producer introduces the world to his newest, most exciting musical discovery. Khaled has made a career out of picking rising stars out of the glut of talented up-and-comers, but he had an even easier time identifying the artist who would become an executive producer on Grateful. That’s because the person was his one-year-old son, Asahd. What began as a playful way to promote his new album quickly turned into a first-thought-best-thought exercise guided by Khaled’s toddler, whose visceral reactions to songs would help dictate what the artist would produce. Asahd isn’t the only figure related to Khaled that plays a large role on Grateful. This is a family affair through and through, perhaps a statement to highlight all the people Khaled is grateful for. We the Best Music Group staples Cool & Dre and Nasty Beatmakers co-produced some of the tracks, giving the songs a Miami-influenced feel built around 808s and house-inspired melodies. The music pays tribute to the rich history of Florida dance classics, and this blend of electronic templates and rap melodies would find its way into popular rap music in the ensuing years. Other in-house producers featured on the album include Danja, who bolsters the project with his preternatural gift for melody. The LP’s first single, “Shining,” finds Khaled recruiting husband-and-wife team Beyoncé and JAY-Z, keeping the family vibe intact. That track is built around a sample of Osunlade’s single “Dionne,” which is itself created from “Walk the Way You Talk” by Dionne Warwick. Despite the fireworks of uniting music’s biggest couple on Grateful, Khaled cooked up even bigger hits with “I’m the One,” which features Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne, and “Wild Thoughts,” with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller. One is a smooth summer jam and the other a sultry club staple, showcasing two of DJ Khaled’s many stylistic master classes.

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