Wiz Khalifa, "Black & Yellow"

80 Billboard Rating

Wiz Khalifa has found greater success working outside the major-label system than within it. "Say Yeah," his Warner Bros.-backed 2007 debut single, was something of a commercial and artistic bust, but mixtapes like 2009's "Flight School" have earned the marijuana-obsessed Pittsburgh rapper a loyal following. "Black & Yellow," Wiz's first single since signing with Atlantic Records earlier this year, represents a fresh start for the MC, and he delivers admirably. Backed by a dramatic Euro club beat from Swedish production duo Stargate, Wiz makes up for the song's pedestrian theme ("I put it down from the whip to my diamonds") with a winning delivery and undeniable charisma. "Black & Yellow" isn't highbrow material, but the song is several cuts above the generic club rap he might have cranked out had his first deal come to fruition.

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