According to the story, Miami hip hop DJ/producer DJ Khaled supposedly claimed his doctor told him a beard balding condition he was experiencing was related to nerve and stress problems and that he was "suffering from success." He became inspired and named his seventh album after the remark. The unifying theme of the album is obviously the problems that come with success, and the emcees on this Suffering From Success compilation make presentable showings explaining their difficulties and venting their frustrations. They come together over a noble purpose, but the attitudes quickly turn bitter, giving the project a sour taste. Even with the crisp production that is at times less bombastic than vintage DJ Khaled, the tone of the LP can get quite cynical, and the content doesn't much divert away from typical gangsterism.
The opener recalls sound bytes of a Barack Obama campaign rally playing Khaled's "All I Do Is Win." The next titillating moment comes in "I Feel Like Pac - I Feel Like Biggie," which features a number of artists including guess who, T.I. and Rick Ross, possibly insinuating an unapproved passing of the baton to these two emcees. T.I.'s verse is particularly fascinating as he inserts song titles of the two late legends in his verse. "Blackball" showcases an excitably active chorus from Future who rhythmically bounces around it with amazing accuracy, and Lil Wayne's "No Motive" is jam packed with great similes and plenty of Weezy's classic wit. "No New Friends," the once intended remix to Drake's "Started From The Bottom," which also features Ross and Wayne, continues on with the themes of despair for friends lost and the distrust of new acquaintances. J. Cole craftily raps to the tune of depressing introspection on "Hell's Kitchen," and the distrust reaches an all time high on "Never Surrender," especially as heard in the verses of Scarface, Jadakiss, and Meek Mill.
Filling the holes left by the sufferable, worrisome tracks are a handful of songs about grinding and expensive big boy toys, Khaled's bread and butter. In general, Suffering From Success is important in that it spreads awareness about the destructive nature of stress, jealousy and greed; however, the album's cynicism, which approaches hate, becomes unattractive and serves to air grievances rather than to teach a lesson. The beats are the best basket for placing eggs as they demonstrate a more respectable range of artistry when compared to the messages. Khaled and the gang would have done well to offer more remedies for their problems, but at least Suffering From Success has enough nice wordplay and quality beats to keep it afloat.