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Independent Weekly: “Wiz Khalifa’s Nonchalant Rise To The Top.”

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Unlike most of the internet, I think Rolling Papers is pretty great. Even the fratty acoustic jam “Fly Solo” has some charm here, somehow. But unlike most of the internet, I have nothing invested in Wiz, so maybe that’s part of why I’m feeling this so much? No expectations. I’m definitely having a tough time listening to people parse out the songs they think are good from the ones that are “too pop,” because other than “On My Level,” what here isn’t pop? Dunno guys, Wiz made a really blissed-out, one-note, stoner rap album and weaseled everybody from Stargate to his buddies E. Dan & Big Jerm into making the same kind of beats. Ambient rap on a Bruckheimer budget. What’s wrong with that?

In addition to the piece in this week’s Independent Weekly linked below, I have a review of Rolling Papers in next month’s Spin. Also: The dude Wesley Case is running through Rolling Papers one track at a time on his “Louder Now” blog for b free daily.

Before a performance at East Carolina University last fall, rapper Wiz Khalifa, as is his wont, encouraged prospective attendees of that night’s stop on the Waken Baken Tour to “fall thru wit ur finest plant life.” That is, as he posted on his Twitter account, bring your weed. Soon after that show, and just as his soon-to-be mega-hit “Black and Yellow” began picking up steam, he was arrested for possession of 60 grams of marijuana.

Wiz posted bail by the morning and kept doing the same thing: smoking, touring and rapping. By February of this year, “Black and Yellow” was the No. 1 song in the country. This week, as Wiz comes to the Triangle to perform at the Raleigh Amphitheater, he also releases the much anticipated Rolling Papers, his third album and arguably the first major-label rap album of any consequence to come out this year. Ergo, the biggest rapper in the country is a giggling, tatted-up, skinny-as-shit stoner from Pittsburgh. Wiz Khalifa’s scrappy approach to success—unfazed by setbacks or an arrest, steadfastly affable, an unaffected party rapper who’s become a bona fide rap superstar—is pretty much unprecedented…

Written by Brandon

March 31st, 2011 at 12:06 am