Wiz Khalifa - O.N.I.F.C.
Record Label: Atlantic, Rostrum
Release Date: December 4, 2012
If there's anything that Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa can assure you with it's that he's going to have weed references in his lyrics. He's definitely not the first rapper to rap about marijuana but Wiz certainly has his own flavor. Wiz portrays himself as a cool, chill stoner which has been a huge hit for him, making both his fans and new listeners drawn into his music. He's that one guy at the party who everyone wants to be friends with. However, after the release of Rolling Papers, Wiz's first album under a major label, it seems that this persona, or rather Wiz himself, had slowly and subtly changed from being "the cool guy" to "the weird guy". Perhaps this is who Wiz really is and it's not that this change has affected his audience, who seem to be unaware or indifferent to the fact, but it has made a change in his music.
If there's anything good that can be said about O.N.I.F.C. it's that it's well produced thanks to producers such as I.D. Labs, Pharrell, Drumma Boy, etc. and although none of the guests really stood out, they all made decent contributions except for 2 Chainz, whose only purpose on being on this album is to just be on this album, and Lola Monroe who I initially thought was Nicki Minaj. The song, "Got Everything", benefits from a sweet R&B chorus from Courtney Noelle and the song arguably has the best beat on the album while "The Plan" radiates with sounds of hope and a solid appearance from Juicy J. However, the album is plagued with songs that are either too complacent or just flat out bad. Songs like "Fall Asleep" are so boring that it might very well put you to sleep, while songs like "Work Hard, Play Hard" end up being nothing more than uninspiring party tracks. The song itself is an obvious attempt to recapture the glory of "Black and Yellow", Wiz's first hit single. Finally, the track "Remember You", that features Canadian R&B artist, The Weeknd, has Wiz Khalfia delivering possibly the worst verse I've ever heard from him.
If it weren't for the production and the guests, O.N.I.F.C. would've easily been a terrible album. The reason being? Wiz seems to be running on auto-pilot. Wiz never gets out of his comfort zone as he refuses to rap about anything other than the same familiar topics: his success, women, money, his boys, his haters and of course, weed. However, it's not the subject matter that brings Wiz down, it's the way he goes about it. Throughout the entire album, Wiz rarely changes up his flow, his delivery is lackluster, his punchlines don't hit hard and when he actually does say something clever, it's not memorable. His lack of fire and determination really shows making 73 minutes of Wiz seem more like a chore than an enjoyable listening experience.
This is easily Wiz's worst album. The beats are let down by the rappers unfeeling attitude and contains too many duds for anyone's liking. One would think that out of 17 tracks there would be at least a few good hits. Instead, you get songs that are either passable or terrible with little to no replay value. It's definitely not trash but fans of Wiz khalifa will more than likely prefer his mixtapes and his previous album than this monotonous collection of songs.