Album Review: ‘Khalifa’

Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter

Earlier this month, Wiz Khalifa released his sixth full length studio album called “Khalifa.” The album is a follow up to the 2014 release, “Blacc Hollywood.” This album is notable because it is one of the only two of Khalifa’s album in which he is credited for writing most of the tracks.

Khalifa’s albums have had mixed reviews. In 2007, Khalifa signed with Warner Bros. Records. In the first few years of his career he saw success on the Billboard charts for tracks like “Say Yeah” and “Black and Yellow.”

Recently, he returned into the spotlight last year with the track, “See You Again.” The song received fame in the most recent “Fast and Furious.” The track topped charts around the world and could be heard on any pop radio station for months after its release. “See You Again” skyrocketed Khalifa’s fame and primed his career to release a successful album, with the residual popularity of the track.

This album seems to want to break his regular pattern with more personal lyrics and a much different sound. Whenever an artist names an album after themselves, the listener can assume the album is a more self-indulgent work. For some artists, this works. The personal style of the album reacts well to listeners. But, Khalifa missed the mark with this album.

Khalifa released the album, while still riding on the success wave caused by “See You Again”. The major theme of the album was the typical, “started from the bottom, but now I am rich.” Nearly every song on the album is about his coming up story. This, mixed with Khalifa’s trading in his mellow sound, for a more “trap” style one are the reasons this album seemed out of place in Khalifa’s discography.

One example of this is in the track “Bake Sale” featuring Travis Scott. The song is catchy in its rhythm but sounds more true to Scott than to Khalifa, even though it shows up on Khalifa’s album.

Songs like the opening track, “BTS” kept with Khalifa’s melodic side and boasted lyrics about rolling joints and relaxing, a connection to his older style.

The main problem with the album was there were no tracks that stood out from the album. February album releases are prime dates to introduce tracks that will become “songs of the summer” a little later in the year. None of the tracks have that effect, so it is doubtful that any of them, spare “Bake Sale,” will find any radio fame in the upcoming months.

The album was average and did not live up to the hype around its release. If you like Wiz Khalifa and want to see how he sounds when he steps out of his bubble, check this album out, but if you are looking for an album to listen to over and over again, look elsewhere.

Photo Credit: Simon


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