Wiz Khalifa’s Kush and OJ mixtape dropped the other day (when I start to refer to specific dates in the recent past as “the other day”, it is a bad sign). Wiz is still one of the new kids on the scene, and outside of the hip-hop community, which is quickly being won over by the charismatic stoner, there are still plenty of people who are unfamiliar. Downloading a  mixtape  by an unfamiliar artist is as desirable as sticking your hand into a random hole in the ground. Sometimes it’s tempting, because you could come out with jewels or some shit, but the probability is high that you actually will not get jewels. There a much higher chance that there is some kind of unwelcoming animal in that hole.

So here’s what I’ll do for you. I’ll tell you a little about the mixtape and give you a couple highlights for download. Kush and OJ is Wiz’s most solid collection of songs to date. His beat selection in the past has been underwhelming. To me, this is still his weakest point, but it’s showing improvement. Instead of keeping things musically simple, Wiz tends to go for those high flying beats with horns, 4 layers of synths, build ups, background vocals and drums that sound like a hyperactive heartbeat with random murmers. As an emcee, Wiz has a lot of personality and energy. Combining that with busy, dramatic beats ends up sounding unfocused and scattered.

With K&O, Wiz is vocally at his finest, showcasing his energetic flow and taking control of the songs (I won’t even talk about the lyrics, because the mixtape is called Kush and OJ. You know what to expect), and he starts to sharpen his beat selection and put together songs that almost pass for album joints.  Check out the few songs I’ve posted and you’ll see how diverse and creative his beat choices are on this tape. Plus, the dude is just cool. Plain and simple, some rappers come off as corny, dated, repetitive. Wiz Khalifa is gaining so much popularity right now because he is right now. Musically, I think he still has a way to go, but I have no doubt that he’ll continue to move in the right direction.

Wiz Khalifa – Never BeenYouSendIt

Wiz Khalifa – In The Cut | YouSendIt

Wiz Khalifa – We’re Done | YouSendIt

Download the whole mixtape here.