Friday, May 14, 2010

Wiz Khalifa "Deal Or No Deal" (2009)

After independently releasing his debut album at 19 and moving ten thousand units Wiz must of thought his path was written. Signed to Warner Bros., Rolling Stone write up's and a chart climbing single were all in his grasp - he didn't let it make him slow down. Instead he kept hustling, pushing forward and gaining fans the old fashioned way: touring. Consistently dropping quality music for free probably hasn't hurt either.

2009 was busy for Wiz and this had to have been what it was all going towards. In late November he released his sophomore album Deal Or No Deal, suprisingly to little fanfare it seemed. My initial disappointment in it was largly to the fact that many of the songs here are pulled from his old mixtapes. Having just finished working my way through his entire discography this was still noticable, however today I'm feeling more forgiving and it is nice to hear the tracks without tags, rewinds or some other typical mixtape nonsense.

The music found here is pretty typical Wiz. It's almost entirely missing much of the "sound" that made Star Power and Flight School the successes they were, but also might explain why B.A.R. was a decidedly more mainstream and straightforward affair. Almost none of these songs feature the sing song vocal stylings he had been experimenting with, he has some mediocre singers on the hooks instead.

Producution is handled by his team, Sledgren & Johnny Juliano who seem to be holding back a little bit here, or perhaps these are all old tracks that Rostrum and Wiz decided they just needed to drop and move on. A few other cats turn in some beats, and few come close to what he has worked with recently. Whatever the story is, these are obviously old and that makes the desire to replay this disc low for me.

The problem Wiz is going to have to tackle at some point is picking what lane he wants to ride in. He seems to be trying to please everyone by trying his hand at all styles. He is a talented dude and pulls off much of what he puts his mind too, but for a sophomore release in the year that he certainly proved himself it's a bit of a disappointment.

I'll never talk bad about about Wiz and Currensy together however and the inclusion of "Friendly" here was a great call and is such a fun song you can't help but turn up. This is the overall problem with Deal Or No Deal, just when you want to write it off as old tracks that sound tired one of those old cuts brings a smile to your face reminding you why you dig Wiz.

I've posted a grip of material here over the last 9 days, Wiz has been generous enough to give away a lot of music in his career. No download link for this one, if you are really hard up I'm sure it won't be too hard for you to find.

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