Wiz Khalifa has spent the better part of two years cementing his spot as the game’s resident outcast. After dropping a dud of a major debut that felt confused and determined to please a room full of suits, he never stumbled. Instead, Wiz kept his mixtape game polished releasing two proper projects, Taylor Allderdice and last month’s Cabin Fever 2.
It’s not rocket science with this dude, you either love or hate him. Thankfully, Wiz stopped listening to the crowd on O.N.I.F.C, and did what what he does best. With O.N.I.F.C we have the proper follow up to Kush and Orange Juice. The record feels like a subtle shot fired at those who weren’t sure if Wiz was capable of harnessing the spark which catapulted him in the first place. This time around, the kid is in love and doesn’t care who knows it.
Wiz sounds completely comfortable in his own skin throughout O.N.I.F.C, and smoking is not optional. He features weed in his music like most producers use the high hat. It’s in each and every track, but it’s not at all overkill because we’ve come to know and love it. He’s going to work hard, play hard, flash his watch and count the dollars pile up. It’s a loose and playful outing, complete with the traditional smokers anthems, odes to going hard and the glossy gems meant for top twenty video countdowns. Maybe Amber Rose ushered in a new wave of creativity, or maybe Wiz has nothing left to prove?
Either way, this is a mature and headstrong record that finds Wiz experimenting with new, ambitious sounds like the dreamy “Fall Asleep”. “The Bluff” finds the Pittsburgh native trading punchlines with Harlem’s Cam’Ron, a voice that’s gone too long away from wax. “It’s Nothing” puts Young Khalifa next to 2Chainz, who’s stock continues to climb on the strength of clever collabo’s like this one. “Rise Above” seems like an open letter to his haters where Wiz proclaims, “jealousy and envy, that’s a trait for mostly bitches, not a man, so you not one if you letting it show”. So go ahead and criticize the kid. Don’t buy his records. Call him a sell-out. It’s all a part of the puzzle that is Wiz Khalifa’s excellent career. One thing you can’t knock is his hustle, which can’t be denied up in first class.