CMA Awards 2018

Wiz Khalifa Continues to Cater to the Laidback and Stoned on 'Khalifa': Album Review

Wiz Khalifa
Album Review
3
Courtesy of Atlantic Records

During his recent tweet tirade against Wiz Khalifa, Kanye West tweeted that "no one I know has ever listened to one of your albums all the way through," which is as scathing as it is misleading. Wiz's albums -- including Khalifa, his sixth solo studio effort (not counting some dozen-plus mixtapes) -- are exercises in mood and attitude that cater to the laidback and stoned, and exist outside of the core of hip-hop's conversation. On Khalifa, he's characteristically mellow and melodic, mixing rhymes that are part equal parts braggadocio and motivational slogans in an almost singular pursuit of highs and riches. By design, none of the songs stand out, save for the Travis Scott featuring "Bake Sale," which wins mostly by sounding like an aired-out version of Scott's own hit "Antidote." At some points Wiz sings full songs ("Call Waiting"), at others he reminds you that he's thug-adjacent ("Cowboy," "Most Of Us"). But he's mostly just here to chill and not ruin his own high, like on the opener "BTS," which sums his philosophies and priorities in two bars: "Niggas want problems, I don't entertain it/ 'Cause if it's real problems, it's not entertainment/ I'm rolling the joint up, precise like a painter/ The grind is what made us.”