As someone who was high — pun intended? — on Wiz at one point, I figured it was only right that I give my thoughts on his major label debut album, Rolling Papers. Taking to Twitter initially, I decided to consolidate those comments into a blog post.

One major knock against Wiz has been his content, or lack thereof. Well, he addresses that issue right off the bat, less than a minutes into the intro, “When I’m Gone”, rapping, “and they say allll I rap about’s b itches and champagne, you would to if every night you seen the same thing”. By this point, we know this and we knew what to expect, so it’s not really fair to hold his lack diversity against him. We also know that he can’t really rap. That’s not what’s gotten him here. It’s been clever, easily quotable rhymes, catchy melodies and hooks, and a whole lotta weed.

Unfortunately, despite how great Kush & OJ was, and how ubiquitous “Black & Yellow” was, Rolling Papers was a disappointment. Put it like this: there’s 14 songs on the album…six are, at the least, decent. None great or even really, really good.

But the main issue, to me, isn’t Wiz. It’s the weak-ass production. Kush & OJ, as good as Wiz was on it, was greatly enhanced by the production. It was a perfect match. Here on Rolling Papers, however, Atlantic decided to go for the pop demographic (given that Atlantic is home to B.o.B. and Bruno Mars, is that really a surprise?), not the stoners and liberal youth that initiated his wave over a year ago.

Hence, they [Atlantic] gave the man pop beats. Worse, they didn’t even lace him with any heavy hitters (other than Stargate, of “Irreplacable”, “Rude Boy” and “What’s My Name” fam…yeah…), even Lex Luger (save the bonus track). I mean, NO SLEDGREN?! That’s the biggest crime of the whole album. Even the people he had been collabing, I.D. Labs, took this new path, as well.

The only things that sound remotely like ‘vintage Wiz’ are “On My Level” and “The Race”. “Black & Yellow” gets the nod, too, ’cause it went No. 1. Can’t argue with that. Instead of sticking with what worked, the entire album is a blatant, obvious, severe attempt at Top 40.

Nothing proves this more than “Rooftops”, Wiz’s collab with his OG Curren$y. Now, we’ve heard those two on 2o+ songs now, all have been straight. Except this one on. Spitta and Wiz don’t even sound right over that moist-ass beat. Compare that with “Scaling The Building”, or of course, the whole damn How Fly.

His album sells will be interesting, but the FNP jury has already ruled on Rolling Papers: wack. I hate to seem like I’m turning my back on someone I’ve supported thus far, but the shit isn’t quality product. Period.

  1. When I’m Gone: Meh…lackluster, but greatly sums up everything he touches on on the album: money, “the life”, living a dream, living the dream. Oh, and bitches and weed.
  2. On My Level: pretty good.
  3. Black & Yellow: GREAT radio single.
  4. Roll Up: ass.
  5. Hopes & Dreams: solid.
  6. Wake up: weak-sauce.
  7. The Race: best song.
  8. Star of the Show: cool.
  9. No Sleep: redundant.
  10. Get Your Shit: definition of #sparap.
  11. Top Floor: I’ll pass.
  12. Fly Solo: painful. ultimate sell-out track.
  13. Rooftops: epitome of what’s wrong with the album
  14. Cameras: more redundancy