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Wiz Khalifa – Blacc Hollywood

Wiz Khalifa – Blacc Hollywood

wiz-khalifa-blacc-hollywoodWiz Khalifa – Blacc Hollywood
Atlantic: 2014

To be blunt (pun intended), Wiz Khalifa’s third major label album, Blacc Hollywood, isn’t anything special, but it’s not a total wash either. Much like Hollywood itself, the album has its successful bits but doesn’t take any significant risks. The content lacks freshness; Wiz offers little revelation, personal or otherwise, other than his fondness for weed—recreationally and vocationally.

In fact, two of the tracks here—“KK,” featuring the dependable Juicy J & Project Pat, and “Raw”—advertise Wiz’s weed strain and rolling paper line, respectively. Fellow greenery-enthusiast Curren$y makes an appearance, too, which only proves once more that Wiz doesn’t have the sense of humor or attention to detail that makes his counterpart such an endearing figure.

Wiz covers well-worn topics throughout with both pleasing moments and earworm choruses, but almost nothing here suggests you’ll share the project on your friend’s Facebook feed. Wiz speaks about smoking, partying with your friends on “Stayin Out All Night” (produced by the Walt Disney of 21st century pop music, Dr. Luke), lauding a woman’s backside on the drop-it-low track, “Ass Drop,” and more smoking (“So High”). “Promises,” the slow-jam club single that finds Wiz exercising his singing vocals, contains the shallow, faux-romantic line, “Let’s get caught in the moment,” which illustrates the insubstantial qualities of Blacc Hollywood. 

One line that sums up the disposable comfort of Wiz occurs in the introspective song “No Gain,” where he shrugs, “I don’t question the biz, nigga it is what it is.” Sure he has Amber and a kid to support, which isn’t to say the album finds Wiz disinterested, but that acceptance reflects in the absence of idiosyncrasy in his music. “So High” has a decent flow from Wiz, but resembles a more pedestrian Kid Cudi track. The wide-eyed, saccharine inspiration of album closer “True Colors,” featuring Nicki Minaj, sounds like a toss-off from the Top 40 pop areas of Pink Friday. A new, captivating facet of Wiz doesn’t uncover itself. We know he’s capable of constructing hip-pop hits and really likes weed.

While Wiz may not earn the status of a hip-hop titan, he has a fanbase for a reason. “We Dem Boyz” deserves all the accolades. The song basically exists for Wiz to proclaim, “We dem boyz!”  The melody barely changes and the hook consists primarily of Wiz proclaiming the same communal boast a bunch of times to ensure the song burrows into your ears. “The Sleaze” also serves as a highlight due to its amped beat, marked by heaving synths, and the catchy chorus that sees Wiz bragging, “Just got the newest thang/get it with ease/Hopped out the bed/did with sleaze.” Lyrically humdrum, but he works the beat successfully.

Blacc Hollywood seizes your attention more than the dull O.N.I.F.C., particularly with “We Dem Boyz” and the other mildly addictive choruses peppered throughout. At this point, “mildly addictive” might be the threshold for Wiz. He won’t dig deep for introspection or drop riveting insight into the human condition, but he can manufacture a breezy, consumable product, which has to account for something.

★★½☆☆
2.5 out of 5

You can buy Blacc Hollywood on Amazon.

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