Wiz Khalifa has for the longest been strictly underground. The buzz around him arrived with “Black & Yellow,” an anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers and his hometown. Many fans have with the release of recent Khalifa mixtapes felt that Khalifa was becoming more commercial. Wiz Khalifa’s album, Rolling Papers is heavily commercial, but nonetheless is superbly produced and Wiz Khalifa in effect, has kicked the door down between underground and commercial rap with it.
With the exception of a few songs, Rolling Papers, is crafted as a laid back hodgepodge of Wiz’s creativity as he has said both in Ebony magazine and on the Mo’Nique Show that “the words were not written down on paper.” The album celebrates his rise in status. “On My Level,” is the about the hardest blaze on Rolling Papers with Too Short offering a verse. “Roll Up,” the second single from the disc, is attuned with a Stargate beat that is a perfect combination of well-thought of rap, stellar audio engineering and will probably be the track most remembered from the album other than the previously mentioned “Black & Yellow.”
Curren$y joins Wiz on “Rooftops,” which most resembles his the style presented on his last release Deal or No Deal. Khalifa’s issue going forward will be to maintain the skillful lyrical content that he projected previously while still managing to portray the ego knack of mainstream rap. Many of his loyalists have criticized Rolling Papers a pre-arranged failed blend of Khalifa’s rapping ability and top 40 redundancies.
Rolling Papers is nothing but a mix of chill and mood music that compliments Khalifa’s catchy technique, but is limited in its one dimensional approach towards the cameras and limelight with its pop overtones Khalifa had initially strayed away from.
Picks: “Roll Up,” “On My Level,” “Wake Up”
Rolling Paper receives a PAR
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