Wiz Khalifa wants you to smoke weed, but he’s okay if you don’t. He also wants you to express your mind, just like he does. The 26-year-old Pittsburgh native spent his Father’s Day (a day which he, as of recently, now celebrates) at Bonnaroo, taking festival goers through his catalogue of hits stemming from more than half a dozen mixtapes and two proper albums.
“Y’all ready to smoke with Wiz Khalifa tonight?” he asked the audience before launching into “Maan,” where he paused halfway through the song to make sure we were paying attention. “How about over on this side [of the crowd], you got some good weed? What about this side?”
When did Wiz Khalifa become a rock star? Khalifa’s brand for years has been mixtape-dropping weed rapper, but with two No. 2 albums on the Billboard 200 albums chart and hit singles with Maroon 5 and Snoop Dogg, he’s ascended to a new tier of mainstream acceptance that he put on display for two hours on Sunday night. Khalifa was backed by a full band onstage, and one of those members sang backup vocals over the hooks which Wiz sang himself. Several of the rap songs he played that evening, like "Rolling Papers" highlight “On My Level," featured extensive rock breaks that actually came across surprisingly well in the festival setting.
“I told you, I got every genre,” he reminded the audience after rock session. “Y’all fuck with Trap Wiz?” he asked, referring to one of his many monikers before cycling through “James Bong” and “Work Hard Play Hard.”
As it turns out, Wiz Khalifa has quite a few songs that are easy to sing along to. A big proportion of the crowd belted out every word of one of his early hits, “The Thrill,” off his 2009 mixtape "Burn After Rolling," and ”Young, Wild and Free” (sans Snoop Dogg, unfortunately) had folks at the top of their lungs. He even dropped “23,” making sure the Bonnaroo crowd hadn’t forgotten what Miley Cyrus sounded like in their four days away from the pop culture canon she dominates.
Khalifa’s convincing on-stage theatrics (thrashing wildly about and collapsing to the floor after “Black and Yellow”) were only matched by his passion in delivering uplifting speeches, keeping in line with the overall theme of togetherness and positivity set by the Bonnaroo weekend. After erupting from the stage to perform the set’s encore, “We Dem Boyz (Hold Up),” Khalifa walked over stage left to receive a kiss from Amber Rose, who was waiting in the wings. What a way to end a father’s day.
-Work Hard Play Hard
-Look What I Got On
-We Own It
-Young, Wild and Free
-On My Level
-Black and Yellow
-We Dem Boyz