Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wiz Khalifa "Prince of the City Vol. 1: Welcome to Pistolvania" (2005)

Wiz Khalifa has been a quite storm brewing for years. After parting ways with Warner Bros. after years on deck but never seeing anything come to fruition he has been working harder then ever to keep his fans satisfied with material to burn to.

As the date of his arrival in Seattle approaches I've wanted to shed some light on who this young kid is and what he has been doing. At 18 he dropped Prince of The City Vol. 1: Welcome to Pistolvania. A typical mixtape affair, devoid of pretty much anything that would make it stand out from any tape you could find on canal street back in the day.

That is not to say you shouldn't listen to this. If you like Wiz it's a great demonstration of how far he has come and how well he has developed his strengths. While on his latest offering Kush & Orange Juice he doesn't fully show it (due to a lot of more sung vocals, not coming weak), he can ride a beat with the best of em. Sounding good on a track goes a long way to making you listenable repeatedly.

His ear for beats is great! He rocks a few industry ones with ease and has his in house team hold down the rest I'm assuming. Everything here is pretty straight forward boom bap, east coast style bangers for Wiz to get hard on. It's not the Wiz we know today and it's still nothing to deep to digest but he also tempers some of the tough talk with some real moments acknowledgeing his inexperience in certain realms.

Ultimately it sounds as though he is playing Nas, telling stories from those around him. Pittsburgh isn't on the map as a Hip Hop hot bed but wiz has been carring the city on his shoulders since this first tape. I don't know much about the city of steel but I doubt that life is always easy, like any urban area in America drugs and crime run the streets.

Any young artist is going to have to deal with his own maturation in front of the audience he is trying to train. Wiz seems to have handled it just fine advancing from tired street tales to the modern day rap stoner icon. Certainly not the most significant achievement, it is hard to deny the accessibility and genuine fun captured by his tunes today. He has changed dramatically. He has built on his strengths and kept the right people around him from the start.

Download Prince of The City Vol. 1: Welcome to Pistolvania.

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