After a few push backs Wiz Khalifa’s second major label release O.N.I.F.C. is here and the Pittsburgh rapper delivers an enjoyable, if topically bland piece of work.
O.N.I.F.C. is a solid project on the whole, but fans of pre “Black and Yellow” Wiz Khalifa may notice a seeming lack of inspiration and conviction. More on that soon, but the positive aspects of the album must be lauded.
Wiz’s flow is deliberate and consistent throughout the project. Though slightly repetitive, Wiz’s delivery is among the most unique in the game. He has the instant recognition quality of an emcee like Snoop, Q-Tip or Slick Rick. Let’s not forget the trademark laugh. Though obviously referenced, marijuana is less prevalent in Khalifa’s rhymes this time around. While these are among the better qualities of Khalifa as an artist and this album in particular, the topical content is woefully lackluster and repetitive.
With the exception of the intro, “Up in it” and the chorus of “Remember you” every song is a mixture of braggadocio and choice words for haters. Rap music is flooded with this rhetoric and Wiz isn’t saying anything on O.N.I.F.C. that any 15 rappers haven’t said already. It’s unfortunate because Khalifa clearly has a high command of the technical aspects of rap.
Where the album falls flat in its content, it strides effortlessly in production. The variety of instrumentals and their progressive sound, coupled with effective use of voice effects and mixing makes O.N.I.F.C. one of the best produced albums this year.
The features are another plus. Only about five of 17 tracks on the album are solo, yet none of the features feel exploitive or capitalistic. Cam'ron appears on “The Bluff,” which is one of the best records on the album. Pharrell, 2 Chainz and Juicy J also contribute verses.
Again, O.N.I.F.C. is a solid project on the whole and is worth a purchase for Khalifa fans. For those on the fence however, know that this is not a press-play-and-go album. O.N.I.F.C. is best consumed a couple tracks at a time, or better yet, scattered throughout a shuffle playlist.