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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Rolling Papers’ promises multiple hits

    © Meredith Truax
    © Meredith Truax

    Apparently all Wiz Khalifa raps about is “”bitches and champagne,”” according to “”On My Level”” from his new album Rolling Papers, released March 29th. After a few playthroughs, I must vigorously disagree. He also raps about weed a lot, too.

    Like, a lot.

    If the subject matter hasn’t ruled out this album for you as a potential purchase, you’re in for a treat. Wiz drops an album of pure percussive C.R.E.A.M.

    Fans of Khalifa’s earlier efforts (2009’s Deal or No Deal and 2006’s Show and Prove) can look forward to more tight hooks and cleanly produced tracks with Khalifa’s signature, lackadaisical flow.

    Billboard-topping Pittsburgh hit “”Black and Yellow”” may draw you toward a purchase or a download, but the album’s variety of laid-back hip-hop explorations will keep you hooked.

    Second single “”Roll Up”” is a charmer, featuring Wiz Khalifa’s swag levels at maximum as he drops textbook girl-stealing advice over a completely infectious complement of drum machines, claps and sizzling synth.

    Smooth as newly frosted glass, “”Hopes & Dreams”” won’t let you off the hook without a few listens. A measured progression of bass, funky backbeats and echoing electronica billows like smoke in and out of the eardrum.

    A lilting instrumental, layered over the clicks of a cheap lighter, starts the slow burn that is “”The Race.”” As references flow between Mortal Kombat and due respect to hip-hop’s old guard, it’s clear that Khalifa takes his music as seriously as he refuses to take himself. Likewise, “”Fly Solo”” invites in listeners with a barebones intro, later dropping into a complex combination of Khalifa’s thumping vocals, kickin’ guitars and subtle electro beats.

    The album is not without its faults; it seems impossible to release a rap album without a minimum of three songs that are totally lame. Tracks “”Cameras,”” “”No Sleep”” and “”Rooftops”” are bores; you can only make so many songs about smoking weed, getting laid and being famous on one album that are good.

    For those looking for a tightly-produced album from a fresh artist making his first serious mark on the mainstream, “”Rolling Papers”” will be a kind bud to you. If you’re not really into lyrics glorifying hedonism, philandering and drug use … well, you’ll probably won’t be into hip-hop, and you definitely won’t like this album.

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