Mixtape Review: Wiz Khalifa – Kush & Orange Juice

Since covering the XXL Freshmen ’10, I feel I’ve grown closer to each of the protagonists selected, this being due to the amount of research I had to put into finding out abut them. As a consequence, I now find myself being drawn to any release from them due to the amount of time spent listening to their material. Wiz Khalifa is the first of the ten to produce something new for me to dissect.

Taking the independent route after a brief spell with Warner, Khalifa has done enough to generate a buzz, with singles “Say Yeah” and “This Plane” being notable accomplishments.  Kush & Orange Juice ultimately throws Khalifa into the mix of names which many expect to provide something solid for the year – and possibly set any standard for the rest of his Freshman affiliates to catch up to.

Providing airy, spaced productions and bars revolving around his drug of choice, Kush & Orange Juice is the latest ode to rolling up joints and kicking back. However, an impressive score and lyrics which borders between ‘hood anthems and mainstream appeal provides Khalifa with the ammunition to make a lasting mark on the scene. “Mezmerized” offers a zoned out opening, which Wiz boasts of the lavish lifestyle which accompanies his rap hustle. This sentiment runs thoughout a majority of the mixtape, done with much style on the ’70s-influenced “Spotlight” featuring Killa Kyleon well as on “Never Been” which takes its sample from retro SNES game “Chrono Trigger.”

Wiz even courtsthe super commerical route by rhying over the Disney hit show Band Camp’s intro, which, unsurprisingly, falls short. For those still intrigued by Khalifa’s inclusion into the Freshmen 10 list, Kush & Orange Juice offers little diversity in lyrics, as Khalifa’s verses are limited in content. Sadly, any rap fan whose musical upbringing involved Dr Dre, Snoop or DJ Quik won’t find any distinguising features about his lyrical stylings.

Having said that, those who will download Kush & Orange Juice won’t be necessarily looking for poetry in motion. It’s an album to accompany a lazy, heated afternoon which is ideal for chilling (and getting up to all ‘sorts’ if you’re into that kinda stuff). Wiz Khalifa produces a solid, funked up album which breezes through pimped out cuts and hazy vocals. As one drugged up, tatted rapper spends time in jail, another emerges on the scene and Kush & Orange Juice could be the formula to elevate him into the spot vacated by Dr Carter.

–Henry Yanney

DOWNLOAD Wiz Khalifa – Kush & Orange Juice [via NahRight]

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