Why Wiz Khalifa Sold Out with “Rolling Papers”

31 Mar

Let me preface this by saying that I really like Wiz, and that his first few releases were beyond great. “The Thrill” is still one of my favorite songs to date. Unfortunately, with “Rolling Papers,” I feel like he has completely sold out.

Let’s take one of the least “fruity pebble pop garbage” tracks  — “On My Level” as an example (above).  No more than 8 seconds ever goes by without him mentioning weed, alcohol, or money.  Obviously, you can’t escape those themes in rap because after all, rap culture (or at least the forced perception of it) is based around those things.  In “On My Level,” the first verse is about weed, alcohol, and money…and so is the second…and the third…as is the chorus…and the featured verse by Too Short.  It’s just really fucking boring.  What happened to writing about something with some substance? The lyrics feel forced, and if you watch the video (which we can’t post because of ridiculous label/Youtube restrictions), you’ll see that it looks forced too.

Nothing on this album even compares to “This Plane” or “The Thrill,” “Take Away” or “In The Cut.” Those are good songs with high production value (but not bubble gum pop crap) and for the most part, interesting lyrics.

“When I’m Gone” is probably my favorite song on the new album, with “The Race” coming in at a close second.  The issue is — the whole album is commercialized pop-rap.  If that’s what you’re looking for — you’re going to like “Rolling Papers.” Otherwise, not so much.  When “Fly Solo” came on, I literally thought my iTunes had switched to Jason Mraz.

Even though it’s expected to sell more than 200,000 copies in its first week, I just really don’t think it’s that good.  It’s second only to Britney’s new album anyway, so that’s not saying much.  The album feels forced and it doesn’t really represent Wiz.  Where’s the Khalifa that released Cabin Fever just a handful of weeks ago? Please come back, we miss you.

My recommendation: Download “When I’m Gone,” “The Race” and “Black and Yellow” (if you don’t already have it) and skip the rest of the album.  Wait for the next mixtape.

Maybe you feel the same way…or you completely disagree.  Let us know in the comments.


8 Responses to “Why Wiz Khalifa Sold Out with “Rolling Papers””

  1. NVR March 31, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Completely agree, but still like the album so far, so that should say something about Wiz. It’s very understandable that it happens (label pressure, more $ etc), but always somewhat saddening when it does (B.o.B, Nicki, Drake, list goes on). I don’t hate poprap when its not over the top. They can sing on the hook, or even a bridge or a verse, they can use autotune (to some degree) and use generic pop chords, as long as on the production side, its still a banging hiphop beat and the verses have somewhat of a substance, i’m pretty much cool wit it. I hope the whole album doesn’t have a pop sound to it, but if it’s 3/4 songs (the singles) we should be fine. Still support Wiz to the fullest. Let him do his numbers and then get back to a streetmixtape. IM OUT

  2. Krit March 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    No sleep is gnna be a smash hit. Wake up is gorgous. Rooftops is dope. Get your shits good, as is star of the show. I didnt love it at first either, but its actually a ton better than the cabin fever mixtape and a few other questionable releases hes had recently, suggested the album would be. His kush and oj feature big k.r.i.t. Just dropped his free album, ReturnOf4Eva which should holdover disapointed wiz fans, as it is the best rap release of the year to date

  3. Coffee April 6, 2011 at 2:52 am #

    You have to understand for the most part the mainstream rappers with 100,000 dollar shows and more are just partying all day and doing what ever the fuxx they want dOnt be a hater just get ur own swag an own life don’t worry bout what we do

    • goodfreakingmusic.com April 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

      What “we” do? Great to have our first comment from a rapper with $100,000 shows who parties all day and does whatever the fuxx they want! Hope you enjoy the site, thanks for stopping by!

  4. jonnakyle April 20, 2011 at 4:45 am #

    Look we think that rolling papers definitely is the move. Yeah you are talking about substance and all that 1990’s shit, but we are in the 21st century now. The rapper lavish lifestyle is fucking sick, and its pretty exciting. Yeah I will admit the lyrics can get repetitive, but they are also genius in themselves. New wiz has lost a lot of substance, but he is writing bangers. As we saw with Black and Yellow, that genre works for him, and the fast paced bumps are sellers. We need wiz to keep sipping on that imperial rose, so I would buy the album. We set extremely high expectations on Wiz, half good songs is great for any album of any genre.

    • goodfreakingmusic.com April 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

      Album has grown on me…but I still think we’re always going to get more innovative Wiz on his tapes, while albums will remain more commercialized.

  5. Lee October 7, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    I started listening to Wiz in 09 so I’m not familiar with his Prince of the City flow, but I know exactly what you mean about the feel that Flight School/Deal or No Deal/Burn After Rolling/ K&OJ, etc had to them. I wasn’t a fan of Cabin fever because I felt like he was trying to be a trap rapper with the beats and flow. Wiz has always made songs about drugs, but it was much more feel-good than the newer stuff. I wanted to puke the first time I heard “I’ll Roll Up” on the radio. I would guess he’s doing it for the money/air play but he’s gotta remember why people loved him in the first place. I’ll stop listening if I don’t get a “Yeaaaaah B*tch” or “Oh-Kaaaaaaay” on the next drop.


  1. Season 4 Trailer for Wiz’s “DayToday” « - April 14, 2011

    […] Kinda makes me like “When I’m Gone” more…even though I had mixed feelings about “Rolling Papers” […]

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