What song will capture my summer? I am searching for it. Discussed: “I’m The One” by DJ Khaled, feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne
Perhaps this is summer’s song: a collaboration of braggadocio, a group effort at making promises not a single one of these dudes with feature verses on this track can keep.
Khaled—who tries and succeeds at redefining the DJ’s role as one of facile mediation and posse orchestration—brings together Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber, Quavo, and Chance the Rapper to feature, though I can also imagine him hosting these artists to see if they would be his starting five for an upcoming celebrity basketball tournament. (I can see them beating Arcade Fire.)
Some people have strong, half-formed opinions when I ask them about DJ Khaled. They love him; he has become a comfortable waypoint on the pop landscape since 2010’s “All I Do Is Win.” Others, still, hate him as a low-rent jester who screams, “Another one!” at the top of every song, as if it’s a promise that music will continue unabated forever.
Even those with whom he surrounds himself are in on this joke: the DJ as headlining star. Lil Wayne in his verse: “ Straight up out the Crescent / Fly your bae down for the Essence / For the record, I knew Khaled when that boy was spinnin’ records.” It’s the music industry’s open secret! A DJ who jockeys no discs! Who cares. “I’m The One” is good, treacly, and I welcome its constant rotation.
“Another one!” says DJ Khaled, reassuring us. “Another one! In case you were worried about the collapse of art and commerce, the twilighting of our civilization, brought low to its knees and returning to dust. Another one.”
Here is another one.