I feel as if Wiz Khalifa has a pretty bad rap among what I call half-fans: fans that have begun following his ascent once he was in the national eye, but never really knew about his earlier efforts. As a result, a lot of people felt that Wiz Khalifa’s major label debut, Rolling Papers, was a bit of a sellout album: a lot of synthesized tunes that are a departure from his still-party-yet-still-street songs from, say, Deal Or No Deal. The truth is — in my opinion of course — Wiz Khalifa has never strayed from his style of music, which in reality involved the inclusion of quite a few different genres. Adding a little more depth, he proceeds to not fix a not-broken game plan with O.N.I.F.C. (Only Nigga In First Class, or One Night In First Class if you’re PG).

Starts off on a high note, with ‘Paperbond’ showing Wiz Khalifa in a pretty smoothed-out reflective state. This vibe really does set the stage for the whole project (‘Bluffin’, ‘The Bluff’ with Cam’ron, ‘Time’)….and while he speaks on the current, ‘O.N.I.F.C.’ definitely gives you a slight feel of the past, especially since he has always been balling on his tracks regardless of difference in status (think Kush & Orange Juice), which there is plenty of here (‘It’s Nothin’ with 2 Chainz).

There are definitely positive and not-as-positive tracks on here as well. ‘No Sleep’ is powerful; not because there’s any additional depth per se…..it’s just a perfect combination of the usual Wiz Khalifa over a dope I.D. Labs production. With that said, it’s definitely Pharrell Williams’ ‘Rise Above’ that takes the cake sonically….even Wiz Khalifa’s tattoo artist Tuki Carter does well enough over the Neptunes more laid back track.

The album does have a few drops: I’m sorry, I know she’s from DC, but ‘Initiation’ featuring Lola Monroe sounds like an afterthought to get the new Taylor Gang member on a record. There’s a couple more on there, but this one definitely stands out more than most.

O.N.I.F.C. is certainly worth a listen if you’re not a fan (don’t expect any real thought-provoking lyricism….that brand of Hip-Hop isn’t Wiz Khalifa anyway) and definitely a great addition to the collection if you are. And even though I thought Rolling Papers was a strong enough effort, this one should definitely please the fans (and the aforementioned half-fans) alike until the next project. Roll up.

Purchase: Wiz Khalifa – O.N.I.F.C. (iTunes)

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