i got the keys

“This is the postmodern desert inhabited by people who are, in effect, consuming themselves in the form of images and abstractions through which their desires, sense of identity, and memories are replicated and then sold back to them as products.”

~ Prof. Lawrence F. McCaffery, Jr.

Strange note to start a DJ Khaled song review on, eh? Probably, but I promise we’re going to circle back around to old Professor Larry here and make sense of this strange introduction by the end of this post.


by DJ Khaled featuring Jigga That Nigga & Future

Leaving the postmodern desert where it is for now, let’s talk specifically about this song and accompanying music video for a sec. And what better place to start than with this bullshit:


So it looks like my free subscription to TIDAL all the way back from RiRi’s release of “ANTI” has finally run its course. Have to use YouTube like all the proles now, I guess. The first video I find titled “DJ Khaled — I Got The Keys (Official Video) ft. Future & Jay Z” seems like it could be the link I was searching for. But it turns out to be a redirect to this:

And at this point I’m wondering if I can just give up now. But I listen to “In Love” by Jay Cornell and you know what it’s actually not that bad. At first I thought the song was going to be maybe be a modern r&b song, straightforward and romantic — maybe some trap elements, maybe some autotune crooning but mostly love. And surely Jay Cornell is def down to talk about his one and only love interest … money. And if the number of reps the hook does is directly correlated to Cornell’s amount of affection then he has a deeper love for capital than I have ever had for anything — but that’s not hard to do, ask any of my exes … OOHH BURN (on myself I guess but whatever).

notable lines:
“I’m so in love with the money / I’m so in love with the cash / Stuffing it all in that bag”

And I hope you like those lines because that’s approximately 70% of the song. I’m not even joking. I literally counted the amount of seconds he repeats those lines and subtracted it from total time he spends vocally contributing to the song. It’s a little less than 70% of all spoken verbiage time. But that’s beside the point; is it enjoyable? Yes. As much as a trap song devoid of Desiigner screaming “GITGITGITRR-RR-RR-RRRRAAAAAAAA” can be enjoyable. Jay’s sound is reminsicent of Owl Pharoah era Travis Scott — uncomplicated, simple, often down-pitched, slightly auto-tuned but not to the point of unintelligibility. It’s a minor key, menacing with an emphasis on the downbeat. The hook here is doing most of the work so if you don’t like the first 20 sec of this song then you should just bail because it won’t change much.

Not much else to say about this track here. Worth a stream I guess, def solid filler for your pretend DJ set populated by your likes on soundcloud.


“BUT ROGER” you say after coming here feeling as if you got cheated somehow by this review “I THOUGHT THIS WAS GOING TO BE A REVIEW OF ‘I GOT THE KEYS’ BY DJ KHALED FEATURING JAY Z AND FUTURE.”

Well how do you think I felt?? I’m sorry but I’m over it. This buying fucking TIDAL shit has to stop. And you know what. This song was legitimately better than “I Got The Keys” anyway. Real talk, take every reference I made in this review and apply it to ‘Keys’ only replacing “Cornell” with either “Future” or “Z” as seen fit and you’ve got the building blocks of the same fucking review. Add the phrases “this music video takes itself too seriously” and “DJ Khaled may be the best part” along with “this ‘ALERTalertALERTalertALERTalert’ shit is hot garbage” and you’ve got yourself the “I Got The Keys” review.

This is not the song to get TIDAL for. And it features Future at his codeine drenched laziest and Jay Z on a generic trap beat that he shouldn’t have ever stepped on (808 Mafia and Jay Z should only ever be in the same room during the BET Awards). The song is an attempt to make an internet meme out of a rap song. And it tries way too hard. The only pop-rap phenom who should be doing that is Drake and that’s simply because … well if he’s in on the joke then he has a good sense of humor.

But this is the postmodern desert we live in. And let me be clear by explaining what I mean from the top:


an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation

A meme is just a piece of culture, okay? That’s it. The internet has made sharing memes extremely easy — and DJ Khaled has made himself a cultural icon of sorts (just peep homie’s snapchat if you feel differently). The same can be said of Future and Jay Z. But I’m not sure if they “get it”, especially Jay Z. This track is one big failed meme — the hook is a reference to a phrase made famous from a mobile messaging app for fuck’s sake — and was blissfully unaware of its failure before being uploaded to a failed video-audio platform. Everybody will either wait to watch it on YouTube or (like I did) listen to something else instead.

Those involved didn’t see this failure because they were literally consuming themselves and then trying to sell that mindfuck of a mess to the masses. The very identity of the track “I Got the Keys” is just a meme (DJ Khaled) put onto an 808 Mafia track via a persona that’s become clearer as American culture has reflected its drug consumption as a mirror (Future) and the person who has profited from it in a meta way (Jay Z) … that is both in the drug culture — he was a supplier, remember — and in the song created from it which is put out on his streaming service, Tidal.

This lack of vision — the cause of which seems to be the result of narcissism in the form of simplifying self to a persona, making that persona into identity, packaging that identity to be consumed, then consuming that package as the simplified self in a cycle — is what causes songs such as “I Got the Keys” to be created and allows artists to think that they can make this shit into high art by making a music video for it solely in black&white. And it’ll keep on happening. There will be no sustenance. There will only be desert.

Told you I’d get back to the postmodern desert.

And TIDAL fucking sucks. Jesus Christ.


Originally published at bloggingaintdead.tumblr.com.