Khaled isn’t the last guy carrying the torch for DJ-themed albums, but he is the most vocal and entertaining, the one angling for the biggest fish and, more often than not, hooking his catch. Photo: DJ Khaled/YouTube What makes a hit record soar? Is it vibrant melodies and impactful lyrics syncing up with driving, anthemic production? Is it the world-beating verve of a hungry new artist with a unique history and perspective? Is it the comforting voice of a household name or the familiarity of a beloved, time-tested melody reinterpreted for modern times? Is it all just chemistry, the careful mixing and matching of star power? These questions seem crucial to understanding the career path of DJ Khaled , the Palestinian American South Florida radio personality turned mogul, advertiser, and influencer who, 15 years ago this spring, dived into the business of star-studded rap compilations with 2006’s Listennn … The Album and never looked back. Khaled records carry on the same traditions as old DJ Clue and Kid Capri tapes and the tie-in soundtracks to films like Friday or Romeo Must Die , where an executive producer leverages their relationships with talented performers in order to hip the public to music that might not otherwise see release. Rappers make much more music than what we hear once or twice a year when a proper project drops. The enterprising compilation curator excels at coaxing artists into liberating gems from the vault or composing new music around a theme, and this sometimes results in classics like Romeo Must Die ’s Aaliyah and DMX hit “ Come Back in One Piece .” Now, with a fertile ecology of leaks sourced by hacks and files swiped out of studios, and with the curator class being poached by streaming services to pump out themed playlists, there isn’t as much of a drive to concoct commercial releases to house potent loosies from famous stars. (They can just drop a “pack” or a compilation of their own. Drake’s 2019 Care Package … [Read more...] about DJ Khaled Will Never Change. Why Should He?