Wiz Khalifa’s fifth studio album named Khalifa, released on February 5, 2016, features some of his best work to date.
Khalifa is the first of two studio albums to be released in 2016 from the Pittsburgh rapper, the second being Rolling Papers 2..
Wiz Khalifa is a versatile artist with a unique style. If you listen to his 2006 debut album Show and Prove, you’ll notice that everything from the production to Khalifa’s flow, and even the content is different from what we hear on Khalifa – yet the rapper has always found a way to remain true to himself while delivering quality music to his fans.
Wiz’s flexibility is clear throughout the 13 songs on Khalifa as he switches from his unique Pittsburgh flow on songs like “Cowboy” to a trap style of rap in “Most of Us” to signing on “Call Waiting.”
After the major success his 2015 single “See You Again” had, Wiz wanted to make songs similar to that. Heartfelt songs that even non rap fans could enjoy. That’s the inspiration behind songs on Khalifa like “Elevated” which is one of Wiz’s most uplifting songs to date.
“Elevated” encourages the listener to work as hard as possible to make it where they want to – and to not let anyone tell them that they can’t succeed. It’s a recurring theme on Khalifa as Wiz talks about how everyone around him made him feel as if he’d never succeed in music.
That theme is summed up in the opening lines of “Zoney” when Khalifa says “Growing up I always thought I’d be the runner up; Gave my all but felt like it wasn’t enough.” “Zoney” also contains one of the best guest stars with an outro featuring Khalifa and Amber Rose’s adorable 2-year-old son, Sebastian.
The end of the song features Sebastian saying everything from “I love you, Daddy” to “Taylor Gang.” It even has Sebastian imitating his father’s vintage laugh. It’s one of the highlights of the album, and it allows Wiz Khalifa to show his fans what matters to him more than anything — his family.
Although Wiz is a master at making music he enjoys rather than making what he thinks will be popular, a Wiz Khalifa album is incomplete without the kind of songs that made him so well known — stoner anthems. Despite there being only 13 songs upon the album’s initial release, making Khalifa the shortest studio album in the rapper’s repertoire, there is still a sufficient supply of songs for Khalifa’s stoner followers to light up to.
Among them is “Bake Sale,” the only single released from Khalifa which features recording artist Travi$ Scott with superb production by Juicy J among others. After “Bake Sale” hypes you up, “Call Waiting” will calm you down.
Wiz shows you he’s comfortable not only rapping, but singing as well. Khalifa’s vocals will put you in a mellow mood on “Call Waiting,” which is a double entendre as a weed song and love song.
The album’s closing song “iSay,” with a verse by one of the album’s producers Juicy J, might be the best song on the album as it contains everything that’s great about Khalifa on one track. From references to Khalifa’s personal KK strain, to talking about his rise from nothing to stardom, and arguably the best beat on Khalifa, “iSay” is the perfect song to close Khalifa.
Although there aren’t any songs that are necessarily bad on Khalifa, there are a couple that seem a little out of place. “Make A Play” featuring Taylor Gang artist J.R. Donato, and “Most of Us” have a much different style than the rest of Khalifa and only detract from the album. They seem they’d be a better fit on Wiz Khalifa’s December 2015 mixtape Cabin Fever III than on this album.
The biggest disappointment with Khalifa is its length. It’s 13 tracks last only 51 minutes, which is pretty short in comparison to any of Wiz’s other albums. Even though Wiz Khalifa released Cabin Fever III about two months ago, and has Rolling Papers 2: The Weed Album coming soon, the album’s length is still a bit of a let down.
Despite there being a couple of songs that don’t blend well with the rest of the album, Khalifa is a very good piece of work. It might be Wiz Khalifa’s most personal project since he’s garnished wide-spread fame.
Wiz Khalifa released his first studio album 10 years ago. A decade later, he’s performing at his best. If Khalifa does one thing, it proves that Wiz Khalifa is only getting better with age, and it should only get fans more excited for his future endeavours.