NEW YORK — Wiz Khalifa is still a new artist — relatively speaking, of course. The star rapper has only two major albums to his credit, but on Tuesday night, Wiz took the stage with a veteran’s poise at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in New York and dug deep into his catalogue of underground hits and mixtape favorites.
Last month, Wiz, A$AP Rocky, B.o.B, Trinidad Jame$ and Joey Bada$$ set out on the second Under the Influence of Music Tour and fan tweets, Vine clips and YouTube videos show they’ve been thrilling audiences every step of the way. New York was no different. The party started in the parking lot as fans filed into the outdoor theater, soaking in the last hours of daylight to the tunes of B.o.B, followed by A$AP Rocky.
With the sun fully set at 9:30 p.m., Khalifa took the stage wearing a red and black gingham-style top to the pounding beat of his 2012 mixtape single “Bout Me.” From there, Wiz took a swift turn, dipping a few years back as his band struck up the opening chords from his 2009 mixtape favorite “The Thrill.” Wiz then ran through a string of old favorites, new hits and underground hits, dealing out tracks like “Work Hard, Play Hard,” “Gang Bang” and the new Smoke Dza-assisted “Old Chanel.”
About a third of the way into his set, Wiz ducked backstage as early footage of him freestyling played on the big screen. By the time the clip closed, Khalifa reemerged wearing a white t-shirt, a yellow and black Pittsburgh Pirates cap and a gold chain with the team’s logo around his neck — the uniform Khalifa became known for during his mixtape come-up. Wearing his throwback threads, Wiz continued to tear through Taylor Gang-approved classics.
There was a refreshing rendition of his 2008 single “Say Yeah,” Wiz’s very first gold single, as well as “Ink My Whole Body” from his Star Power mixtape. He also pulled from his 2010 classic Kush and Orange Juice, dancing to the groovy “The Kid Frankie” and slowing it down to sing the weed ode “Up.” Juicy J stormed the stage for “Show Out” and the entire TGOD invaded the set for the anthemic “Taylor Gang” with Chevy Woods.
To close, Wiz performed the biggest hit of them all, delivering “Black and Yellow” with his usual excitement, and once again proving that there’s no party like a Taylor Gang party.