By guest writer Jeanette Dobrowski:
Standing for ‘Only Nigga in First Class’, O.N.I.F.C. is Wiz Khalifa’s second studio released album with Atlantic Records. And if you think the name Wiz Khalifa is familiar but can’t quite place it, recite the colors “Black and Yellow” and his latest hit will come whooshing into your left brain and leave smoking out your nostrils.
Going back to the album in question, don’t hold your breath for long, for O.N.I.F.C has you for 17 earchewing tracks of poorly-executed Pittsburgh rap. The unimaginatively named opener Intro drags you in through at the same pace as his inhale, and if you are wondering whether the fun house you are about to enter is somewhere you want to go, he immediately clears up any doubts as Paperbond opens with “yeah yeah yeah yeah.” Nice to know that as a listener you’re being reassured.
Fall Asleep stands out at first with a unique and dreamy quality which, as one of his most experimental sounds on the album, ends up coming across forced. Do I expect more from Khalifa? Yes. Was I sure he would be able to delivery? No. It seems his rapid ascent to the pop stardom allotted to radio recycled MCs has gone to his head and disconnected his hip hop soul. His lyrics are recycled concepts, afterthoughts of his lifestyle, while his art takes a backseat as he drives his Ferrari chain-smoking Ls.
Khalifa’s themes are, well, green: smoking OG kush on the regular, how much more money he has than you, occasional descriptions of his sexual prowess and well… that covers it. He clearly measures his success by how much money he’s made, but also leaves you wondering what happened to content and quality along the way.
Wiz Khalifa may be “keeping it real”, but what he really needs is an ego reset and a lesson on the principles of hip hop. His beats maintain a hypnotic quality through to the end of the album, but then you feel like you’ve been filled with empty calories and left to run home. I suggest grabbing a copy of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop by Jeff Chang and re-emerging with a new type of high.