Wiz’s third major label LP, released on Tuesday (August 19), is initially marked by his rowdy “We Dem Boyz,” but the rambunctious club hit tells only a fraction of Blacc Hollywood’s story. “House in the Hills” pairs the Taylor Gang captain with his How Fly partner-in-rhyme Curren$y and together they reflect on their respective evolutions in rap.
“They should use that story to motivate/ But instead they rather focus on the fact that he’s a pothead/ Not the fact that there’s not a lot, where I live/ 25 and not dead,” Wiz raps on “Hills,” pointing to the dire straits he left behind in his beloved Pittsburgh.
“True Colors” with Nicki Minaj tells another inspirational tale, while “Still Down” with Taylor Gang reps Ty Dolla $ign and Chevy Woods toasts to the friends that have stayed down with Wiz since day one. “I think about the ones that’s dead and gone and the ones that’s still thuggin’,” Khalifa reflects.
With his latest, Wiz balances the uplifting material that he’s been making since songs like 2007’s “Youngin’ on His Grind” and 2009’s “This Plane,” with certified party records. “Ass Drop” is a melodic twerk-ode and “Raw” is a frantic trap track with kinetic drums and the kind of repetition that creeps into your subconscious.
Then, of course, there are the smoke anthems like “So High” and “KK,” a dedication to the raper’s own strain of marijuana: Khalifa Kush.
Sometimes Wiz raps, sometimes he sings (“Promises”), sometimes he’s crass (“The Sleaze”), but at all times he remains himself. With Blacc Hollywood, Wiz creates even more separation. Yes, there are a ton of rappers who love to smoke, party and spread love, but no one does it quite like the one-of-a-kind Wiz Khalifa.