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Astronaut & Spacey: Hump Day Hip Hop

Not only is the week half way over, Lil Wayne is in Happy Valley for a show at the BJC. If that isn’t an excuse to celebrate Wastey Wednesday, I couldn’t tell you what is. Well, besides Lil Wayne actually being the one your getting wasted with.

It’s time to get it poppin’ like a semi-automatic! You’re going to need some tasty jams for the pre-game and post-game (the man himself has the actual game covered).

Check out this week’s installment of Hump Day Hip Hop and update your play list before drunkenly stumbling into the BJC. Who knows, maybe Weezy will hand select you to be a guest at the after party. You don’t want to look like a jackass when you pull out an iPod full of B.O.B tracks, do you?

1. Wiz Khalifa

After releasing his Cabin Fever EP in mid-February, I was nervous to see what Pittsburgh’s hottest rapper had to offer in his Atlantic Records debut, Rolling Papers. Riddled with over-repetitive, and frankly annoying, Lex Luger produced beats, Wiz Khalifa seemed like he was taking a turn for the worst with Cabin Fever. While this in no way defines his new album, Khalifa has certainly altered his style.

After a one minute piano into the album’s first track, “When I’m Gone,” I wondered if I had purchased the wrong cd. However, once the synth and bass drops entered, my hope was restored. However, as I moved on to the next tracks, I noticed something was missing. For the first time in his career, Wizzy does not just talk about weed. Replacing his worship of the sticky green are high-school worthy laments about break-ups and puerile consecrations about how much he loves chillen’ with some girl. Khalifa’s lyricality is without a doubt the most significant short coming of the album. About 90% of the song’s words sound as if they were written by Lil’ Romeo. For example, in his single “Roll Up,” Khalifa croons, Whenever you need me/Whenever want me/You know you can call me/I’ll be there shortly Don’t care what your friends say/cause they don’t know me/I can be your best friend/and you be my homie. Come on, dawg, you’re better than that.

Where Khalifa fails to deliver, the work of his many producers compensates. Tracks produced by Stargate and E. Dan are mainly filled with uplifting melodies and poppy beats more fit for a Ke$ha single. While some just come off as corny, songs like “Get Your Shit,” and “Rooftops,” dish out atmospheric-driven soundtracks that allow you to forget just how dumb Wiz’s lyrics are. However, producer Jim Jonsin yanks the rug from under the bitch shit and lays down “On My Level,” the sole track rife with dark undertones and more gangster cred. Luckily, Wiz’s smooth flow and his unpredicted, but impressive, singing abilities work hand-in-hand with the album’s radio-friendly appeal.

Rolling Papers is certainly not his best release. However, the cd is great for those relaxing moments, when you may or may not be packing a bowl with your best buds. The cd also sets the mood just right when you and your boo are spending a night in. You have to take into account that this cd is being distribute through Atlantic Records. This surely accounts for Khalifa’s lyrical direction, and the transition to the cd’s pop-geared sound. Hopefully when he releases his next mixtape, the Wiz we have all come to know and love will be back to his hard, marijuana-spittin’ self.

Twitter: @RealWizKhalifa

2. Lil’ Wayne

Weezy is an act that needs no introduction. That is beside his signature smokey laugh and the sound of a blunt being sparked. This New Orleans rapper isn’t new to the game, being signed to Cash Money Records at the age of 9 and reported getting it in by the age of 11. His dirty flow and punch-line heavy rhymes have taken him to the top of the charts on numerous occassions and after his recent lockup has left his fans anxiously anticipating the release of his up-coming album, “Tha Carter IV.”

Good news for Weezy addicts, you don’t have to wait till May 16 to get your fix of post-lock up tracks. Lil Wayne teamed up with The Source’s “Man of the Year” and fellow “I Am Music II” tour mate, Rick Ross, to put out a violent colaboration titled, “If I Die Today.” Rich with sex, violence and drug references, the second leaked track only adds to the agonizing wait.Thankfully, these dudes will be at the Bryce Jordan Center tonight for those who weren’t willing to shell out $70 to see Young Money swag up close and personal. If you weren’t so lucky to get your hands on a ticket, turn up your speakers and play the song below. Then twist up the Marley, call over that chick you’ve been spitting at and do it like Lil Wayne himself would do it. (insert Weezy laugh)

“6 Foot 7 Foot” was the first track to leak from “Tha Carter Iv.” Even though already overplayed, the lead single is a must-have party anthem or windows-down joint cruise. Proving his steez as the Young Money newsomer, Cory Gunz tears up the feature verse, making this song newsworthy in itself.
In the ‘Inception’ inspired video, Weezy’s signature punch lines are played out in visual representations. (I.E. “No matter who’s buying,” lights up a big cigar. “I’m a celebration,” a sexy video girl jumps out of a cake.) If a picture is worth 1,000 words, this video is worth Weezy’s bank account.

Twitter: @LilTunechi

3. Big K.R.I.T.

Named one of the XXL Top Eleven Freshmen of 2011, Justin Scott, or as he goes by, Big K.R.I.T., has swiftly been makin’ moves into the hip hop scene. Hailing from Meridian, Mississippi, Big K.R.I.T. proudly reps his sub-Mason-Dixon roots, as seen in the southern homage “Country Shit,” (Let me tell you bout this/Super fly dirty dirty/Third coast muddy water/Candy yams and collard greens/Pocket fulla stones ridin’ clean/Let me tell you bout this country shit). Dropping his new mixtape Return of 4 Eva this past Monday, K.R.I.T. delivers one of the year’s best releases so far. Jam packed with 22 fresh tracks, the album cruises through smooth ballads where Scott ministers some real talk, and party-worthy bangers like “Sookie Now,” a possible homage to True Blood‘s favorite faerie. With consistently solid releases like this and his 2010 mixtape K.R.I.T. Wuz Here for free, you’d be a fool to sleep on such steals.

Twitter: @BIGKRIT

Do you think the Wiz review was on spot? Are there any future artists you’d like the space-cats to take a look at? We want to hear from you. This is one time when blowing up the comment section doesn’t make you look like a ballsy internet nerd. Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for archived coverage.

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About the Author

Ryan Kristobak

Hailing from Lebanon, PA, I am a senior majoring in print journalism. Things I enjoy include lovesacs, denim, mullets, Fight Milk, Jonny Moseley, and "hang in there" kitten posters. Things that bother me include "fun" sized candy bars (not fun), fish, shoobies, wet door knobs, baby leashes, and Jake Lloyd.

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