ALBUM REVIEW: Wiz Khalifa – 'Khalifa'

As I sat down to listen to Wiz Khalifa’s new offering I decidedly told myself “I must listen with an open mind”, this was a wise decision as the self-titled Khalifa soon began to enrage my inner critic and in some sense my political conscience.

This album, to me, is extremely monotonous and fraught with boring and repetitive tracks (not even soliciting the use of the word song). I truly believe that the backing tracks were mainly a result of someone (or something) falling upon a drum track, and thus a Wiz Khalifa song was born. Musically, the album is mind-numbing and tiresome warranting physical spasms of frustration.

Lyrically these tracks are terrible with the themes and politics being all over the place. The fact that many of them begin with a physical groan by Khalifa himself reflected my attitude towards his lyrics. He seems to have a Freudian neurosis with the ideals of drugs, money and violence so much so that his somewhat righteous message of black liberation is drowned out. In particular, the track “Zoney’” shifts dramatically from drug references to a child’s voice saying, “I love you daddy”.

However, the aspects of Khalifa that truly enrage me are the rare demonstrations of musical talent, in particular the 30 seconds or so of piano at the end of “BTS”. Above all, the track “Call Waiting” is a brilliant blend of blues, motown, funk, and jazz reminding me of Chicago blues. “Call Waiting” is musically saturated with various instruments which were clearly recorded in a studio (in contrast to the electronic fluff contained within the rest of the album) which blend together well creating a fantastic groove. What is more “Call Waiting” is absent of obscenities and seems to have a discernible and meaningful theme running throughout the song, something which is a welcome addition when compared to the rest of the album.

“Call Waiting” infuriated me beyond belief as it demonstrates a clear ability and talent, something which is absent in the rest of the obscenity filled album. In summary, I believe that Khalifa is a disaster that seems to have been created as filler for one song, and is largely devoid of musical talent and frankly an insult to any listener.

Review by Thomas Gibbens