Dj Khaled is feeling Grateful. He should be - he has become a success in his musical career, a legend on Snapchat, and now, a father - life is good. So he decided to try to put all of that goodness into an Album, his yearly release coming right on schedule. The album suffers from some bad habits and a total length, but the first third of the album may be an opportunity for listeners to tune into DJ Khaled at the peak of his powers.

About 'Grateful'

"Grateful" is the tenth studio album from DJ Khaled. The record was released by We the Best Music Group and Epic Records on June 23, 2017, and features Asahd Khaled as an executive producer (more on that later).

This is the third straight year - and seventh time in eight years - that DJ Khaled has dropped an album. He's become one of the more prolific artists in hip-hop, just like Future. When an artist produces that much music, they risk putting out records that are too similar in nature. "Grateful" eventually reaches that threshold, but it starts out on an incredibly promising note for the longtime mogul.

DJ Khaled samples introspection

The DJ Khaled of old would be boastful every time he hopped on a track. Just look at his album titles: "We the Best," "We Global," "Victory," "We the Best Forever," - "Kiss the Ring" arguably served as his coronation in 2012. The shift to something different began in 2013 but has never prospered seriously until now.

"Grateful" begins with an introduction featuring Sizzla. While the execution of the song feels a bit choppy, the motif is clear: DJ Khaled is giving thanks to those who paved his way. The tone was light, which would remain relatively consistent for the next few tracks, all singles, and all hits.

"Shining" has such a great groove behind it, inspiring listeners to get up out of their chairs to shake their stuff.

It's rare to have Beyonce and JAY Z shine on a track together, although the female songstress does a lot more than Hova does. Still, it's a coup to get the famous couple in one studio, showcasing the credibility DJ Khaled has amassed.

"To the Max" faced criticism for the vocals Drake brought to the table. Those complaints felt facetious when the "Grateful" single was released, but upon a second listen, they apparently lack a little bit.

More than anything, they lack in volume - where are they? Why does the second verse trail off so badly?

But then "Wild Thoughts" goes on, and everything stops. The listener is transported to the heat of the night in Miami, circa the 1970s. The dancing is hot and heavy, the people are exuberant, and in the background, Santana tickles the strings until they spell M-A-R-I-A M-A-R-I-A. With Rihanna on her first collaboration with DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller invoking the same style, the song may be the most iconic, not only of "Grateful," but of DJ Khaled's entire career.

"I'm the One" closes out the singles portion of "Grateful." Featuring a litany of big names - Lil Wayne, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Justin Bieber - the song is the feel-good jam of the summer.

It debuted at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the first number one single of DJ Khaled's career.

'Grateful' becomes boastful

After that, a lot of the album reverts to a more quintessential DJ Khaled mode. There are a lot of tracks where he and his pals boast about their success, their wealth, their ability to buy fancy accessories. Less of the humble attitude exhibited earlier on the record comes through. (And don't worry, Rick Ross continued his legacy of appearing on every DJ Khaled album.)

There are still moments, though. A track featuring Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj feels more down-to-Earth than others do. One VERY scattered track ("I Love You So Much" with Chance the Rapper) devolves into a spelling of the alphabet at one point, but also demonstrates the love DJ Khaled has for his son.

"Don't Quit" is a fun little jam that succeeds off the skills of Calvin Harris.

But for the most part, "Grateful" becomes a pile of nondescript mush, featuring the regular cast of characters that always fill the bars for their own vanity. Not helping matters is the insane length of 87:25, which is approximately the same amount of time it would take to watch "Airplane!" Which seems like a better use of time?

Final thoughts

The executive producer on "Grateful" is Asahd Khaled, DJ Khaled's infant son who famously had his birth shown to the world via Snapchat. The rapper has been on the late night circuit, telling some funny tales about how he knew of a track's potential based on his son's facial expressions, knowing he had a banger with "Shining" when his son threw up on him.

The stories are cute, but they reveal a greater truth: parent changes to adapt to the needs of their child. DJ Khaled will dedicate the rest of his career to his son, in one way or another. The fruits of that tree were planted on "Grateful," where the mogul began thinking about the bigger picture.

His music can finally begin to evolve if DJ Khaled continues to learn how to be "Grateful."

Best Song: "Wild Thoughts" - Frankly, three of the four singles live up to their billing on "Grateful" - this one just has the best attitude.

Worst Song: "Whatever" - Features a nice cast of rappers - Future, Young Thug, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz - but DJ Khaled gave it the perfect title.

Rating: B