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Wiz Khalifa 


★★★ 1/2

Atlantic Records

It's not an entirely new phenomenon for modern hip-hop artists to utilize the stylings and embark on collaborations with indie or alt groups that may not entirely fall into their particular fan base. Wiz Khalifa, at the forefront of not only his genre but also a cutting-edge fashionista and brilliant businessman in his own right, has grabbed the bull by the horns and jumped headfirst into teaming up with avant-garde musicians outside of what would likely be considered his "comfort zone". Tracks like "Remember You" featuring The Weeknd and "Work Hard, Play Hard", produced by Norwegian duo Stargate, showcase Khalifa's open-mindedness and versatility. And, even to a lesser extent, collaborating with artists that do happen to fall into the urban genre – such as Cam'ron, Akon and Pharrell – showcase his abilities to work with other artists who typically wouldn't necessarily jive with Khalifa's slow stoner rhyme scheme. Only Nigga in First Class, being the Pittsburgh native's fourth proper album, maintains his resourcefulness and elite status as an extremely accessible and very listenable artist. Mainstream hits like "It's Nothin" (featuring 2 Chainz) will satisfy those looking for radio hits, while "The Bluff" (also very approachable for the general public), featuring Cam'ron, easily keep Khalifa's fans at bay. Is he reinventing the wheel with this release? No. The atmospheric, almost Kid Cudi-esque vibes and beats that all of his releases give off are present on O.N.I.F.C., and while the diversity on the album as a whole is impressive, don't expect your socks to be blown off.

Worth a Listen: "It's Nothin"



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