Album Review: Wiz Khalifa – Blacc Hollywood

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Do you hate surprises? Then Wiz Khalifa’s the artist for you! Before you press play, you already know he’s gonna cover turning up in the club, weed, how much money he’s made, weed, fly b*tches, and last but not least, weed.

Full review by CFor after the jump.

Artist: Wiz Khalifa
Title: Blacc Hollywood
Label: Atlantic
Release Date: August 19

And he’s gonna do it in a post-Drake blend of rapping and singing over a mix of hard rap beats, a touch of chillwavy tunes and a dash of obvious chart-topping pop attempts.

Blacc Hollywood starts off with the use of spoken word, an appropriately high brow literary device since the intro transitions into “Hope,” the latest entry into the canon of Hip-Hop songs using the alliteration trick. Yes, “Hope” goes over your head right alongside classics such as “I Used to Love Her” and “I Gave You Power” to bring life to an inanimate object; in this case Wiz turns “the game” (rap game, crack game, game of dice, life…your choice) into a female.

Or maybe it’s just a song about thots with stripper names? Not sure. The latter interpretation would fit with the theme of the rest of the album which can be described as a 2014 version of the “something for everyone” template that dominated East Coast rap during the late 90s and early 2000s. So, it’s a perfectly fine yeoman-like professional effort with few obvious missteps, but little in the way of true inspiration.

On the bright side: “House in the Hills” would’ve been my theme music if I had a time machine to transport me back to the 80’s in Don Johnson’s body as I’m driving a Corvette with the top down driving through the Pacific Palisades with The Police playing on my stereo. The single, “We Dem Boyz,” checks all the boxes of a modern radio ready hit: it fits like a glove into any drive time playlist. Also, what would a Wiz album be without a weed anthem or nine? Plus points for making that power move and endorsing his personal strain, Khalifa Kush on “Kk.” Finally, if you’ve ever wondered what Drake crossed with ABBA would sound like, I’d bet that “Promises” will satisfy your curiosity.

On the dull side: “Stayin Out All Night” sounds like one of those pre-written insert artist here swing for the top of the charts type tracks that misses the mark. Khalifa subversively titles another one of his customary weed songs “So High,” which ironically blows my high by annoyingly capping every line with “uh-huh”: SKIP!! Most disturbingly, the two songs featuring rap legends are meh-worthy. Show of hands: who would’ve bet Nas would have the most haggard, off the pace appearance on “We Dem Boyz Remix?” Everybody? Oh, so it’s not actually 1996 again..damn, how the hell am I gonna explain this to the guy still wearing NBA jeans on the other side of this Starbucks plexiglass? Also, on the closer, “You and Your Friends,” Snoop appears and does his best Snoop impression to help close out this utterly predictable album on a bland, predictable note.

So what’s the takeaway? When Wiz raps, he does a reasonably respectable job of keeping things interesting. (The rap beats are all dope!) However, when he tries to recreate the Billboard smashing pop magic of “Paper Planes,” his efforts come up short once again highlighting the gulf between Mixtape Wiz and Album Wiz.


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