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Working All Winter, Shining All Summer: DJ Khaled’s Top Ten Summer Anthems

DJ Khaled 8By Hardcore Critic
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Clearly, DJ Khaled represents the new generation of hip hop. However, looking at his flamboyant nature, DJ Khaled reminds many older hip hop heads of the way the genre used to be. Frequently said in articles here, as much as things change, they remain the same.

Since this is Memorial Day Weekend, it was only fitting to get into the mood of summer and get caught up with DJ Khaled. Holding his position as the hottest DJ in the game over the past seven years, hip hop has come used to Khaled dropping an anthem every summer. On his latest tracks, DJ Khaled boasts “working all winter, shining all summer.”

We The Best Music Group, DJ Khaled’s label, seems to be his winter’s work. Ace Hood is the hottest he has ever been, Rum is fresh off his mixtape, Vado is going strong, and Nino Brown is making himself known. But, summer time in hip hop just is not summer time without a DJ Khaled anthem.

With the beaches opening this weekend and people making their summer plans, Hip Hop Vibe decided to count down ten of DJ Khaled’s biggest summer hits over the past few years.

Watch the music videos below:

10. “Holla At Me” featuring Paul Wall, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, Rick Ross, and Pitbull
Most people think “Hustlin’,” released during the summer of 2006 was the first time they heard Rick Ross. All those outside of Miami need to think again. By 2006, DJ Khaled had appeared on many of Fat Joe’s biggest singles, in his music videos, and of course, was providing the music at his concerts. DJ Khaled wanted to break out of the shadow of being “Fat Joe’s DJ” and he did just that when he launched his debut album, Listennn… The Album and it included his first-ever summer anthem, “Holla at Me,” featuring Paul Wall, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and Pitbull.

9. “Welcome to My Hood” featuring T-Pain, Rick Ross, Plies, and Lil Wayne
By 2011, hip hop had gotten used to the spoils of a DJ Khaled anthem every summer. Excited about completing his artist deal with Cash Money Records, DJ Khaled immediately got to work on his fifth studio album, We The Best Forever. In the first three weeks of the year, DJ Khaled released the first single, “Welcome to My Hood.” Featuring T-Pain on the hook, the track immediately was received as a sequel to his 2007 single, “I’m So Hood.” Picking up popularity in 2011, “Welcome to My Hood,” featuring Rick Ross, Plies, and Lil Wayne became one of the first anthems of the year, playing in the early summer of 2011.

8. “Fed Up” featuring Usher, Young Jeezy, Drake, and Rick Ross
To be fair, DJ Khaled did not released “Fed Up” during the summer. Officially releasing the single early in 2010, DJ Khaled came back with Usher, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, and Drake on his new single to make up for the lack of an album, thus no anthems, in 2009. But, with a resurgent Usher on the “Fed Up” single, it was one of the earliest anthems in 2010, becoming a spring break darling, which means the club scene embraced it.

7. “Take It to the Head” featuring Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne
This one is not even a throwback, DJ Khaled had a big year in 2011 and he had to top it when he came back out in 2012. Kiss the Ring was the planned album for 2012 and DJ Khaled needed an anthem to kick things off. DJ Khaled delivered the first summer smash of 2012 with “Take It to the Head,” which featured Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne. “Take It to the Head” set the tone for the remainder of 2012.

6. “All I Do is Win” featuring T-Pain, Ludacris, Rick Ross, and Snoop Dogg
Naming his 2010 album, Victory, DJ Khaled had to come out with something to live up to the title. Unlike the DJ Khaled hip hop had come to know and love in recent years, he did not deliver anything in 2009. The question was where is DJ Khaled and could he come back. DJ Khaled answered with “right here” and “hell fucking yeah” with “All I Do is Win.” One of 2010’s biggest summer smashes, DJ Khaled stuck to his “winning” formula with T-Pain on the hook and a Rick Ross verse, but he also got veterans, Ludacris and Snoop Dogg, on the single, as they released albums in 2010.

5. “I’m So Hood” featuring Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, Plies, and T-Pain
Late in the summer of 2007, DJ Khaled unleashed “I’m So Hood,” the second single off his breakout album, We The Best. It was this single that set the tone and let people know what DJ Khaled could potentially do every summer. The single featured T-Pain, at his hottest, Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, and Plies, who was right before the peak of his career. Commercially, “I’m So Hood” is DJ Khaled’s most-successful single and is considered to be the prequel to the similarly patterned, “Welcome to My Hood,” featuring T-Pain, Rick Ross, Plies, and Lil Wayne.

4. “Out Here Grindin” featuring Akon, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Lil’ Boosie, Trick Daddy, Ace Hood, and Plies
Following the success of We The Best, DJ Khaled wasted no time getting back at it, releasing We Global in 2008. He launched this album only months after releasing his sophomore album. “Out Here Grindin” was released and features Akon on the hook and verses from Rick Ross, Lil’ Boosie, Young Jeezy, Ace Hood, Trick Daddy, and Plies. DJ Khaled got all of the hottest Southern rappers in the game on the track when they were at their hottest and he paired them with his artist, Ace Hood, and the veteran Trick Daddy. “Out Here Grindin” went on to become one of the biggest songs during the summer of 2008.

3. “I’m On One” featuring Drake, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne
In recent years, DJ Khaled is best-known for his “I’m On One” single, which is his most-successful single to date, commercially. The second single off We The Best Forever, when this song first leaked to the internet, it immediately had the sound of the biggest song of the summer. Fittingly, “I’m On One” ended up becoming this and much more. DJ Khaled kept this single simple, featuring Drake, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne, the only three rappers to really receive shine in the summer of 2011.

2. “I Wish You Would” featuring Kanye West and Rick Ross
DJ Khaled took advantage of Kanye West being back in the game by featuring him on his Kiss the Ring album. Kanye West dominated the summer and released the first breakout song of the summer with what would become “Cold,” off his Cruel Summer album, which featured DJ Khaled. The favor was returned and Kanye West jumped on “I Wish You Would,” which also featured Rick Ross. “I Wish You Would” dominated the summer and the music video was paired with “Cold” and there is a cameo from Kim Kardashian in the video, showing the clout DJ Khaled holds in the game.

1. “We Takin’ Over” featuring T.I.,  Akon, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Birdman, and Lil Wayne
Before “We Takin’ Over,” DJ Khaled had a name for himself, but not many remembered him from the summer of 2006. DJ Khaled has done a lot and had bigger commercial success, but none of this is possible without “We Takin’ Over,” the first single off We The Best. That title, alone, launched the whole movement. This song opened the door for everything else, so “We Takin’ Over,” featuring T.I., Akon, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, and Birdman with his intro lines for Lil Wayne is the biggest anthem from DJ Khaled, at least in the opinion of Hip Hop Vibe.

In 2013, DJ Khaled has kept his run going, preparing his “No New Friends” single’s music video. The song continues with DJ Khaled’s big three of Drake, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne. The music video was shot a couple weeks ago and will soon be released. Meanwhile, Khaled’s seventh studio album, Suffering from Success, which is due later this year.

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