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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Rolling Papers

 

So just what is it about Wiz Khalifa’s particular brand of tunes that separates him from all the other faceless rappers obsessed with a certain psychoactive plant? Maybe it’s the fact that his production is so spotless you can see your face in it. Or perhaps it’s his ear for hooks, or swag, as undeniable as any veteran of the game that endears the young Pittsburgh native to so many fans. Truth is, it’s a little of everything. Ever since the release of Steelers anthem “Black and Yellow”, Wiz Khalifa’s success has been positively meteoric from September – a blip in pop-culture time. With its bouncy bass line and weapons-grade catchy chorus, millions of non-Steelers fans have joined in the party too. The question is, now that he’s in the limelight: Will his debut Rolling Papers hold up?

Rolling Papers runs the typical gamut of a rap album. There’s the still-up-at-3am party anthem (“No Sleep”), the somber and slow jam (“Wake Up”), and of course the obligatory picking up a girl/breaking up with her one-two punch (“Roll Up”, “Get Your Shit”). Khalifa, outside of his unabashed love for roaring V8 engines, jewelry, and joints, comes across as a rap-star grateful for his newfound fame and painfully conscious of how fleeting it is. “Came up in a big way/And I hardly ever sleep well it’s like a dream/I don’t wanna wake up from, don’t wanna wake up from” he sings over a humming lullaby in “Wake Up.” In an age where the fickleness of the masses has finally become quantitative in page views and YouTube hits, the music stars of today are at the whims of forces far greater than ever, it takes an accomplished artist to recognize that, but still produce from the heart like they forgot.