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“Black and Yellow” creates buzz, album fails to keep up

Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang movement, which was once his crew but has grown, along with his popularity, to include fans, has taken the nation by storm.

The hit single “Black and Yellow” brought Khalifa to stardom. Now, after several mixtapes and his third LP installment “Rolling Papers,” Khalifa has finally hit the mainstream audience.

Some would argue that Khalifa has sold himself out to the mainstream scene, which is true in a sense, but this album embodies a great balance.

The head-nodding record has many diverse sounds, which contribute to where Wiz has been and where he is trying to go. The first two tracks, “When I’m Gone” and “On My Level,” he isolates them completely from the rest of the record with more of a downbeat and almost dark sound.

The album starts with a piano piece, building the beat up nicely and adding anticipation for the rest of the album.

The upbeat, mainstream songs start on the third  with his most famous song, “Black and Yellow.” Keeping the sounds varied, “Rolling Papers” also includes the very chill, guitar savvy “Fly Solo” after the more up-tempo “Top Floor.”

Although “Rolling Papers” may not be the most lyrically inclined album to ever drop, there are moments where you can feel more than the words themselves, like in “Wake Up” and “Cameras.” Both have the message that Khalifa has finally made it to stardom.

In “Cameras,” he says “Got everything you always dreamed and thought about / and everyone knows who you are.” Songs like this add a touch of heart to a beat-heavy “Rolling Papers.”

One downfall to this album is the lack of witty wordplay. While some artists play cat’s cradle with their lyrics, Khalifa fails to deliver any intricate wording or tongue-twisting raps. It is safe to say that some of these songs fall in the category of a typical Top-40 hit, a lyrical party record, and the overuse of auto-tune shows a lack in musical talent.

Overall, if you’re looking for a wild night full of blunts, women and the good life, this is the perfect album for you. Otherwise this album serves no purpose other than poppy beats that are sure to be blaring from the speakers of fraternity bros everywhere, as well as add plenty of likes to the Taylor Gang Facebook page.

This may not be the album of the year, but it is certainly a stepping stone for Khalifa to build off for future projects.

Grade: B

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