At least two local Jamaican music industry professionals have defended internationally renowned producer DJ Khaled after comments by ’90s dancehall frontrunner Mr. Lexx.
The deejay claimed that the mogul only works with “di same set a artiste dem and di song dem nah hit”. But veteran producer Gussie Clarke and popular selector Bishop Escobar said that the Grammy-winning producer reserves the right to work with whomever he chooses, however often he wants.
“Mr Lexx may have had a point but as the saying goes ‘anuh everything good fi eat, good fi talk’. Some things should remain an opinion in your mind. A wah day me deh a di studio and we a talk bout it and say yow some artiste chip lick yah now because if yuh notice, DJ Khaled nah too go outside a him circle but yuh affi understand why,” said Bishop Escobar. “Khaled take a picture that was similar to the Last Supper when he was sitting at the table with veterans from the music industry. Man like Buju, Capleton, Barrington Levy, Bounty Killer. Khaled hand-pick persons him wah associate with and those persons that he chose, are cornerstones in his career. Di only person we see him work wid this time around weh never deh deh from beginning is Koffee. Everybody else a foundation members in his career. So for him, it goes way beyond the music.”
Dubbing DJ Khaled as a music mastermind, Bishop Escobar suggested that he was looking for “distinct sounds” and his usual collaborators all have that.
“Everybody know Buju sound, Barrington Levy have a distinct sound, Capleton, Sizzla, Bounty Killer. All a dem a big voices weh have an international pull. When man like Khaled a work pan album and come a Jamaica, dem want the creme-de-la-creme,” he said. Clarke said that DJ Khaled “doesn’t do mediocre”, and that each one of the Jamaican entertainers that he has worked with over the years are the best the local industry has produced.
“As the saying goes ‘if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’,” said Clarke. “We have to respect and understand that DJ Khaled is a successful producer who knows what works for him. He has the right to record whoever he wants and in all fairness to him, I don’t think he’s looking merely for talent. He is looking for specific talent and the persons who he has worked with successfully for years. And it’s not just that but these are artistes he has a good relationship with, music aside. Some of these artistes he has referred to as ‘brothers’.”
Following backlash on social media, Mr Lexx said that he reserves the right to his opinion and expressed that contrary to popular belief, his statements had no malintent. He also stated that he believes many persons share his thoughts but aren’t brave enough to say them.