DJ Khaled knows how to make an entrance. When the charismatic DJ and record executive steps into the room, he commands attention with his booming voice and poignant speeches, and he likes his album introductions to have the same impact.
With the first track on his seventh LP, Suffering From Success (out on Tuesday), Khaled starts with a familiar but unlikely voice. "Thank you everybody. How you like my new entrance music?" president Barack Obama asks in the audio that was repurposed from the White House Correspondents' Dinner this past April.
"I just wanted to start the album when Obama came out with 'All I Do is Win' and saying that's his new theme song — I mean that's the biggest voice in America and he's saying a DJ Khaled record is his theme song," Khaled told MTV News from his We the Best studio in Miami. "I'm starting off the album like, 'Helloooo, have you got it yet?' I'm the best in the game."
Once the table is set, Khaled goes right into the album's title track, where he gathers Future, Ace Hood and producers Young Chop, DJ Nasty and LVM to articulate his Suffering. "Got too many racks on me, I can't even go to sleep," Future croons to start.
"Real passionate when me and Future were cooking up the record. I explained to him what 'Suffering From Success' was, like my meaning behind it. He just understood and he just went in that booth with passion," Khaled explained. "You could see the veins coming out his neck and he was just talking that talk."
Ace Hood goes on to articulate the point that may come off as insulting to blue-collar workers, as he personalizes the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Mo Money, Mo Problems" mantra. "More cash, brings more haters, f--- around and went and bought a chopper twice/ Because I'm paranoid and I'll bury boy if he playin' with mine, then it's oh lord," Ace spits.
Earlier this year, Khaled helped to unite Future and Ace on the ubiquitous and platinum-selling "Bugatti." Here Hood once again references his million-dollar car, but also blows off steam about his meddlesome "baby mama" and lawyers texting him. It's quite dramatic, but all enough to excite Khaled. "Ace Hood comes in and he's like... 'F--- the rolex, f--- the Cuban link chains and f--- the money and f--- the fame. F--- all that," he said. "It's just straight hunger and pain."