Album Review: Wiz Khalifa – Rolling Papers
Even though Wiz is somewhat new to the commercial scene, he has been a veteran in the underground. If you follow mixtapes and his fan base, you known about Young wizzle back around Flight School, before Kush & Orange Juice (Kush is when I caught on). And if you are reading this from the Steel City, the 412, well damn you probably heard of Wiz since Prince Of The City back in 2005. Fast forward to last September when Wiz and Taylor Gang made its first stop in Philly. While we were backstage (Wiz smoking on a doobie and I got lifted off second-hand, of the most exotic trees I basically ever inhaled), we were talking about Black & Yellow. I knew that single was going to blow up. Wiz was trying it out but agreed. Since then, well you all can recite it.
Now we finally here on his Atlantic Records debut, Rolling Papers. The title, as well as the cover sets the tone self-explanatory. For you smokers, I probably won’t go further; this is probably the album of the year. For the rest of us, I can tell you that this album is like a dime of exotic or regular Kush. It’s a fix, but nothing to get you hype. The hypest track on this LP is the track you heard for six months. Other than that, this whole LP is laid back and mellow, sometimes too mellow. If you looking to party with this, look elsewhere. Also if you looking for complexion and sub-imagery in these lyrics, look elsewhere. These bars can be memorable but nothing like a Busta or Lupe. It’s probably not his lane.
Another sober moment is the 1st half of this album I heard already. Star of The Show (ft Chevy Woods) and The Race, I broke on my show a month ago. Both records I do love because of the beats as well as Wiz flow, which is unique but pinpoint. But like I said, lyrics aren’t really perplexed. In fact, most of the album talks about the same: Weed, Cars, Bitches, Money, tats. Now I did not complain. All of these things I prefer in order at 8am every morning thank you. But I do wish he would talk about something else.
There is one song like that which stands out: Get Your Shit. A breakup song but with perfect imagery and E.Dan melodies along with Wiz’ harmonizing is something you can definitely listen to for this whole year. Another song that really stands out is Hopes and Dreams which is another harmonizing curveball that does talk about the same money talk but with a sense of his knowledge of the game. These two tracks can be bright points in Khalifa’s career as far as creativity.
As far as production, it is stellar. These beats are left-field, unique, rare but glowing in creativity. In other words, if this was an instrumental CD, this would be Gold. A huge applause for Stargate, E. Dan and Benny Blanco. Also much kudos to Wiz for doing what an artist SHOULD do and using his OWN people to create an album for his brand. The Only features you recognize are Too Short (On My Level) and Currency (Rooftops). Other than that and Chevy Woods, everything else is Wiz. Rapping, singing, etc. Wiz. This is what an artist SHOULD do. And to capture his own niche and rocket launch to the top makes Wiz IQ in the game higher than Uncle Snoop on 4/20.
I see the college crowd indulging in this. Also the pop crowd. The hood may not bite as fast but I’m already hearing On My level on Ogontz Avenue (Uptown Philly whatup) This album will go gold at least, with Platinum, not a surprise. A good album to round it out, which is a staple in this year’s discography. Light up.