Album Review: Wiz Khalifa’s “O.N.I.F.C.”
YO. I sincerely apologize for the delay. I’ve been crazily busy lately. But you already know about the presence of the one they call KB. You’re in it right now.
Alright. Time to jump right into this. NOW. Little background history of Wiz and I: If you were to catch me around……lets say late 2009-mid 2011, the majority of material I would allow into my ears was that of Wiz Khalifa. I first heard of Wiz by way of my cousins (shoutout to Dino, Ronnie, and Cam), who immediately went to the track as soon as we got comfortable in the car. I remember it like it was yesterday: a young, 15 year old kid elated to take a ride with his cousins, who he always viewed as the coolest people he knew. After hitting SKIP a few times, a few bars entered my brain that i will never forget:
“Clear the runway baby
I get money from Sunday to Sunday lady.
Oh behave, I’m young, rich, famous
Grindin’, keep my pockets on Schwarzenegger.
O.G in my Swisher so my blunt taste flavored, don’t it?
Yall niggas can get it if you want it.
Tryna catch a flight, I’m in the back seat playing Xbox
Car service just chillin’.”
Ever since then, I was a die-hard fan of the marijuana-engrossed, tattoo-covered lyricist. From Flight School to Kush and Orange Juice (which is arguably my favorite mixtape of all time), I was hooked. Not to mention, I was introduced to my 2nd favorite rapper, Curren$y (and still am to this day.) (Jet Life to the next life.) (Fool.) Somewhere in the mix though, around the point where Wiz begin to gain an abundance of national attention and fame, he begin to transform. The cool, laidback, always high rapper that we grew to know and love changed before our very eyes. He released Cabin Fever and Rolling Papers and I just didn’t see what direction he was going in. Change isn’t always good. I noticed his change through his sound and lyrical ability, while most people noticed this change in his choice of clothing, which went from his signature fitted’s and snapbacks, Pittsburgh Pirates chain, Levi 501’s, camo shorts, and Chuck Taylors, to a more “designer” look that closely resembled what would be a modern-day Jimi Hendrix , i.e. a lot of tight clothing, fedoras, grown out hair, his now trademark blonde patch of hair…..you know….basically…..this So, i shall give you my thoughts on O.N.I.F.C., an acronym originally meaning Only Niggas In First Class (planned LP by Khalifa, Curren$y, and Big Sean), but Wiz took the title and knocked the “s” off of Niggas to give it a more solo approach. Overall, the album isn’t as bad as i thought it would turn out. I’m sooooooooooooooooooooo close to suggesting he “noticed his mistakes and is back to making the material that we fell in love with.” Ehhhhh, he’s gettin’ there.
The first few tracks start off with hazy, THC-inspired beats that closely resemble that of K&OJ. Wiz’s rhyming plus the beats is like the high school all-city football quarterback going to prom with the chick that won “Most Attractive” in senior superlatives. Complements each other so well. The beat on Bluffin’ is like…..how can i put this…..thank you Drumma Boy. Then, all of a sudden, the album inches up on an unexpected roadblock with Let It Go. Just when things were going so well. The beat is kinda…..ehh. Wiz is kinda…..ehh (i hate that make-believe fast flow he does), and Akon is….well…..Akon. But boyyyyy was it a quick roadblock, the next track being The Bluff (repetitive tracklisting?). He does this with the man himself, Killa Cam. This may be my favorite song on the album….its so perfect. “I’m Killa, he Wiz, but all our checks say Cameron” The next few songs are aiiiiiiight, nothing to throw a party over. I am feelin’ It’s Nothin’, which is one of the industry-standard 2 Chainz features…..idk why but whatever. We then reach our next beautiful stop on the tour, Rise Above.
Forreal I mean Pharrell (I call him Forreal cause he the truth) has his name all over this track. Pharrell is probably my favorite producer of all time so anything Pharrell gets an automatic A+ from me. Initiation rides. No Limithas a pretty cool concept to it (even though its 9 minutes long). The last 3 are all bangers to me (thank my boy Juicy J for 2 of em). Even the single. & It’s RARE for me to like a single. And then it goes off.
Overall, Wiz is going upward from his music recession. This is a step up from Cabin Fever and one giant leap for mankind from Rolling Papers. Will we ever see the “real” Wiz ever again? 9 times out of 10, no. But it’s nice to see some of those characteristics mix in with his new wave of music. The cover really screwed my initial perception of the album, but, my granddad always told me, “don’t judge a Wiz Khalifa album by it’s cover.”
I give O.N.I.F.C. a 3.5 out of 5, which is the “Damn this is pretty good!” rating.
And that’s the truth, Ruth.