Sach O: Wiz Khalifa’s Gen-Y Stoner Music

Sach O’s on his 13th OZ – quite baked. There’s been a lot of fist shaking in this site’s secret forum (where we eat gorgonzola while listening to the UMCs, and plot Wocka Flocka...
By    May 4, 2010

Sach O’s on his 13th OZ – quite baked.

There’s been a lot of fist shaking in this site’s secret forum (where we eat gorgonzola while listening to the UMCs, and plot Wocka Flocka Flame’s downfall) at Wiz Khalifa’s Kush & OJ. I like it, Jeff doesn’t and really we’re both right. Khalifa is simultaneously an overrated opportunist who recently found a style that clicked with the teenage crowd and an interesting artist doing his own thing in the face of expectations. It all depends on how you look at it.

Khalifa’s early tracks were a fine example of the kind of rapping that most of the world was glad to ignore. He spit that fiya sure, but his songwriting was spotty and none of his punch lines could ever convince me to turn off my Kool G Rap or Beatnuts tapes to make room for him. Since then, he’s gradually gotten more comfortable, adopted the post-808’s & Heartbreak singsong cadence that’s all the rage these days and generally found his groove. Landing somewhere between Wayne’s tattooed rock star, Drake’s lover boy and The Cool Kids’ rap-nerd personas, he’s morphed into an emcee that’s somehow more than the sum of those parts. The fact that he’s got a great ear for beats helps as well.

On “Never Been”, he pillages Squaresoft’s Chrono Trigger transforming theme music for an ancient civilization into G-Funk for kids who barely remember Doggystyle. On “Still Blazin”, he mumbles his way through a reggae song but explodes when its time to sing the hook. Elsewhere, he doesn’t even rap at all and I’m not mad at him for it: coming off like Warren G’s higher, nerdier descendant, Khalifa’s at his best when he’s as far away from “real Hip-Hop” as possible, running in his own lane. Whether you appreciate his shit or not depends on whether you think that lane is the new rap language or worthless bullshit. Your choice.

Seeing as Wiz was influenced by Andre3K (solo), Kanye, Weezy and a ton of pop music rather than Rakim or The Furious Five, it seems silly to rate him by the same criteria as the latter. Taken for what it is, it’s unsurprising that Kush & OJ blew up the internet upon release: it’s a strong slice of what the kids want out of rap these days and it doesn’t fall into the trap of trying to impress those who won’t give it a chance anyway.  Purists will balk, but it’s time to face the facts: 22-year-old rappers don’t give a shit about oldschool rap fans. We can either adapt or stick to the classics. Personally, I can do without most of the tight-trousered crew but hey, this particular mixtape pretty consistent. If you give it a download though, just do yourself a favor and delete tracks 2 and 3 off the bat. Trust me on this one.

Download:
MP3: Wiz Khalifa – Still Blazin’

MP3: Wiz Khalifa – Never Been
MP3: Wiz Khalifa – Kush & OJ Mixtape (Via Nahright)

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