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Wiz Khalifa - Rolling Papers Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 7.75
Lyrics 4.25
Production 9.25
Creativity 7.25
Lasting Value 7.75
Reviewer Tilt 8.25
Final Verdict: 75%
Member Ratings
Vocals 4.18
Musicianship 3.59
Lyrics 2.34
Production 5.95
Creativity 3.11
Lasting Value 3.32
Reviewer Tilt 3.93
Average: 38%

Wiz Khalifa - Rolling Papers

Reviewed by: Jeremy Aaron (04/19/11)
Wiz KhalifaRolling Papers
Record Label: Rostrum/Atlantic
Release Date: March 29, 2011

I love me some Entourage—not only for its colorful characters like the irascible Ari Gold and the laughably cocky Johnny Drama, but also because it’s, in a weird way, relatable. I’m certainly no millionaire movie star, but I can say with a fair amount of certainty that if I were somehow to fall ass-backwards into piles of cash, the show’s depiction of Vinny Chase and his boys’ shenanigans would be a close approximation to those of me and mine. While their antics occasionally border on contemptible, there’s an undeniable—and perhaps universal—appeal to opulence and indulgence. Wiz Khalifa peddles in this same sort of escapism, the type of light entertainment that requires no emotional or intellectual investment but nonetheless allows for a few short moments of shameless vicarious living. So it goes without saying that Rolling Papers is short on substance, but as with any popcorn flick, there’s a lot of guilty pleasure to be had with a little suspension of disbelief.

Given the album’s, well, blunt title, Khalifa’s pot-smoking ways are the primary lyrical focus, followed closely by boozing, banging and bragging about bling. And that’s really where it ends topically. He oozes bravado to an extent that would be unreasonable were fierce self-belief not a hip-hop prerequisite. It remains believable because he’s a lot like that one dude—I think we all know someone like this—who attracts scores of chicks and friends despite being pretty average-looking and kind of a douchebag. Perhaps it’s that easy charisma that makes Khalifa’s music itself so irresistible despite being, on paper, nothing exceptional. He acknowledges his own limitations on opener “When I’m Gone”: “And they say all I rap about is bitches and champagne.” Over the next hour, he does little to prove the naysayers wrong. Rolling Papers is also almost uniformly sedate. The bumping runaway hit “Black and Yellow” is hardly representative of the record, which is dominated by R&B-flavored slow jams, most notably the burning “On My Level” and the truly sublime “The Race”. Khalifa’s mellow Drake-esque delivery and meticulous flow impart a sing-songy melodicism that makes it all very smooth and pop-friendly.

So make no mistake, Rolling Papers is unquestionably slick pop-rap candy, and there’s nothing substantive to be found beneath the choking shroud of weed smoke. And yet, here I am trying to justify that rating to the left. The truth is, Khalifa has a true talent for beats and easy hooks. And he writes the type of songs that are perfect for your house party or—whether you’re a toker or not (I personally prefer legal means for achieving my desired altered mental states)—just chilling, trying to forget you’re just a humble student, office worker, or whatever it is you do, for a short while. In short, there’s a distinct niche that Rolling Papers fills quite nicely. Not seeing it for the fun and finely crafted record that it is might be a case of missing the forest for the trees.

RIYLDrake’s Thank Me Later; Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon: The End of Day; Curren$y’s Pilot Talk


Track Listing1. When I’m Gone (4:08)
2. On My Level (feat. Too $hort) (4:32)
3. Black and Yellow (3:32)
4. Roll Up (3:47)
5. Hopes and Dreams (3:58)
6. Wake Up (3:46)
7. The Race (5:35)
8. Star of the Show (feat. Chevy Woods) (4:46)
9. No Sleep (3:11)
10. Get Your Shit (4:36)
11. Top Floor (3:42)
12. Fly Solo (3:20)
13. Rooftops (feat. Curren$y) (4:20)
14. Cameras (4:29)


Preview/Buy the album at Amazon MP3.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 56
08:36 PM on 04/19/11
#2
Jeremy Aaron
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Score is too high, AMIRITE?!
10:21 PM on 04/19/11
#3
schlotty
See you later, Joben!
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Score is too high, AMIRITE?!
Nailed it!
11:35 PM on 04/19/11
#4
dtomczak
always hungry.
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no, seriously, score's way too high. lyrics are a huge part of rap and if the album doesn't have decent lyrics, i cannot in the right mind say that it is a good album, not even 75% worthy, no matter how "slick" it is. the lyrics are pathetic. wiz sold out and gave the people what they wanted: a bunch of shallow songs about weed, bitches, and champagne over smooth, radio-friendly instrumentals.

by the way, you have no idea how much his opener pissed me off. saying “And they say all I rap about is bitches and champagne" then proceeding to make songs that ALL talk strictly about just that, made me lose all respect for him and cannot listen to this record at all. absolutely pathetic compared to the freestyles and mixtapes he put out back in the day.
05:26 AM on 04/20/11
#5
brook183
@brooks_an
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love man on the moon, couldn't like this any less
05:30 AM on 04/20/11
#6
Numero10
No al calcio moderno
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So I like this, Cudi and Drake. I should look into Curren$y I take it?
06:10 AM on 04/20/11
#7
zachff
deadformat.net/tradelist/zachff
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This album was a huge disappointment. I listened to it like 3x then completely forgot about it. Do love me some Black and Yellow though.
06:11 AM on 04/20/11
#8
whitelightning7
Registered Member
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I actually liked a lot of his mixtapes more than Rolling Papers. It felt like he was really turning to the pop side on this album. Really disappointing to hear some of these songs compared to ones off his mixtapes like "The Thrill" and "Mezmorized."
06:32 AM on 04/20/11
#9
Mike78098C
I read AP.net in my boxers
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Yo. This is a release on a label.

Is anybody really considering this? How candy-coated it is? How mainstream it sounds?
I'll bump Wiz all day, Rolling Papers, although weaker than Kush & OJ or some real early Wiz, is still Wiz being Wiz.
It's 4/20.
Roll one.
06:56 AM on 04/20/11
Holly HoX!
*
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I only have one thing to say.....

Listen to Q-Tip.
07:00 AM on 04/20/11
mymusicismylife
Disgruntled wheat thins enthusiast
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no, seriously, score's way too high. lyrics are a huge part of rap and if the album doesn't have decent lyrics, i cannot in the right mind say that it is a good album, not even 75% worthy, no matter how "slick" it is. the lyrics are pathetic. wiz sold out and gave the people what they wanted: a bunch of shallow songs about weed, bitches, and champagne over smooth, radio-friendly instrumentals.

by the way, you have no idea how much his opener pissed me off. saying “And they say all I rap about is bitches and champagne" then proceeding to make songs that ALL talk strictly about just that, made me lose all respect for him and cannot listen to this record at all. absolutely pathetic compared to the freestyles and mixtapes he put out back in the day.
He gave the lyrics a 4.25.
07:03 AM on 04/20/11
TheRealJohnOC
@BehindtheCade Seen 701 bands live!
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Score is too high, AMIRITE?!
I see what you did there kind sir. Great review!
07:36 AM on 04/20/11
Dustin Harkins
Go support Kony 2012 some more
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Score is too high, AMIRITE?!
07:57 AM on 04/20/11
Numero10
No al calcio moderno
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I only have one thing to say.....

Listen to Q-Tip.
How is that relevant under a Wiz Khalifa review? It's like going to a Metallica review and saying "Listen to Brand New"
08:01 AM on 04/20/11
xsinkshipsx
@alexmacwilliam
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I only have one thing to say.....

Listen to Q-Tip.

Or biggie or tribe or big L or wu tang or blu&exile...something worth listenin too
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