Wiz Khalifa skyrocketed to fame on the back of several popular mixtapes and a huge smash single. But is the hit indicative of a strong debut or are we dealing with a weed plate? The TRU Brain Trust answers.
Sketch The J: Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers is an unbelievable album. Seriously, there’s no way this dude smokes as much weed as he claims (an activity referenced multiple times in every song.) It reminds me of the guy who is always bragging about how many girls he’s “dating.” You’re trying too hard, B.
I also don’t believe:
Jaap: The undeniable and omnipresent banger ‘Black & Yellow’ still bangs but unfortunately it’s easily the highlight of the album as well. Many tracks are bogged down by thin sing-songy hooks working as a detriment to the already mostly bland synthesizers they’re layered over. It might be recent events talking but this album could’ve used a heavy dose of Nate D-O double G. Wiz isn’t exactly the most topically diverse rapper but neither is frequent collaborator Curren$y. The latter still manages to create highly entertaining albums at an alarming pace though. Wiz doesn’t lack the ability to spit but unlike Spitta he does lack a distinctive sound. This could very well be the sort of album Atlantic was trying to wring out of Lupe and while Mr. Khalifa does sound a lot more comfortable on these type of tracks than Wasalu it is a steep task maintain an attention span through this much generic material.
Nahshon: Rolling Papers is lauded by Wiz Halifax fan-sites as one of the best albums of the year. And while some might consider that claim laughable, the legitimacy of his style is becoming increasingly formidable. There is a growing contingent of fans that must be taken into account on the one hand, as well as a great appreciation for choice of feature artists (Short Dogg in the house) and maintenance of persona based on consistency of subject matter. On the other hand, one must begin to wonder how many “anthem-style” records a single album can contain as well as how much style-biting one fanbase can accept. (See: When I’m gone vs. Drake’s entire career)
Aaron: Ever since Kush and OJ became a top trending topic on twitter, the music world has steadily caught Wiz-fever. One year later, Wiz drops his major label debut, Rolling Papers. The unimaginative album title and cover art are omens for what’s on wax. Wiz spends the entire album jogging a victory lap, but with the tired tales of weed, cash, and girls, coupled with his same old sound, one gets the idea that Wiz has jogged this same lap many times before. A strong finish keeps the album from being a major dud. Top songs: Rooftops, On My Level.
Rizoh: Rolling Papers plays like the handiwork of a suit-wearing, briefcase-wielding Warner exec whose most played iTunes song starts with “B” and ends with “W.” It’s more of the same inane, lousy, formulaic tunes wrapped in tinkerbell beats and aimed at the brainless. Khalifa is among today’s most creative rappers and his punch shows up on tolerable cuts like “When I’m Gone” and “Star of the Show.” But it mostly gets drowned out by the smell of bad weed. This is what happens when that guy that could have been a one-trick pony finds himself on the same payroll with that guy that could have been a car salesman.
Brendan: Before I go anywhere with my opinion, lemme state that it really doesn’t matter what I think. because the writing’s on the wall that Wiz will be a star following his album, and will continue to dominate the pop charts for months. Now that we got that out of the way: the album is trash. Rolling Papers is everything that I found wrong with B.o.B.’s debut album, only kicked up to 11. It’s that generic pop-sound formula that’s been filtered through a rapper spitting a verse or two, that has dominated the airwaves for far longer than should be allowed by the UN Global Security Council. Worse though, is Wiz’s rapping performance: all he talks about is weed and girls. And while that sounds great when you read it, imagine that formula, all over lame beats, for 14 songs? Lemme put it this way: If Wiz’salbum were weed, it would be really bad weed that didn’t get me high, and I then got arrested for having it.