After what was a relatively quiet 2015 for the pro-marijuana rapper from Pittsburg, Wiz Khalifa kicks off 2016 with some fire from his new self-titled album, “KHALIFA.”
The 13-track album showcases Khalifa going back to his roots of rapping using his trademark side-to-side style of flow, along with catchy choruses and airy beats. The album also includes big name features such as Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign and Juicy J.
Unlike “Blacc Hollywood” or “See You Again,” “KHALIFA” is full of upbeat songs where the lyrics are mostly about partying, making money, the Taylor Gang family and of course the girls that come along with the lifestyle. Besides “Call Waiting” and “Zoney,” which features a conversation with his son Sebastian, Khalifa focuses his energy on bangers.
Songs like “No Permission,” “Celebrate” and “BTS” captivate the old school Khalifa. Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself bobbing your head to the beats as these songs are irresistibly catchy.
Khalifa continued his expansion beyond just hip-hop into trap music as well—artists like Future or Young Thug are very popular in this genre. “Bake Sale,” “Most Of Us” and “Cowboy” give listeners the chance to hear the Khalifa similar to a project from two years ago called “28 Grams.”
Of the major features on “KHALIFA,” it seems “Bake Sale,” featuring Travis Scott, has the most radio potential. The mixture of Khalifa’s smooth voice in the verses with Scott’s futuristic auto-tuned chorus is a combination all rap fans can vibe with. As Scott himself would say, “It’s lit!”
Although this album has been an overall success for Khalifa, taking him to the top of the iTunes album chart, the lack of context in his lyrics seems to be a pattern. Khalifa spends most of the album rapping about meaningless situations like smoking marijuana all day and hanging with his friends. He has caught critique in the past from other rappers like Kanye West in the famous Twitter war a few weeks ago.
“14th n— it’s called creativity #youshouldtryitsomeday,” West tweeted during the fight and later deleted. Since the Twitter war, Khalifa and West have settled their differences.
One of Khalifa’s biggest strengths is how he has stayed consistent with making quality music and this album embodies that. Is he rapping about social issues that trouble the world? No, but Khalifa’s music brings positivity without the stereotypical “I’m from the streets” rapper persona. To put it simply, Khalifa loves his life and his newest album shows it.
What lays ahead in the future this year for Khalifa remains to be seen, but so far 2016 looks promising — and you know how he feels about breaking promises.
“KHALIFA” is available on Apple Music and Spotify.