Scott Gries/PictureGroup
Brad Wete
March 23, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Rolling Papers

Current Status
In Season
Wiz Khalifa
music label

We gave it a B+

After his first record deal with Warner Bros. fizzled nearly two years ago, many counted Wiz Khalifa out. But the rapper with the Fran Drescher chortle got revenge and then some with his smash, ”Black and Yellow.” The Pittsburgher’s debut on Atlantic is lyrically limited to getting high, stealing chicks, and blowing cash. (Then again, what would you rap about if you were young and new to affluence?) Yet it burns with an underdog’s passion and a champion’s spite. ”Used to not be allowed in the building/But now we’re on the rooftop,” he spits with pride on ”Rooftops.” Although the sentiment is echoed often on cuts like ”Star of the Show,” it never loses punch. Wiz’s sound falls somewhere between two of his weed-burning peers — more jovial than Kid Cudi’s lonelystoner cuts and more cohesive than Snoop Dogg’s recent offerings. Marijuana may not be legal, but Rolling Papers surely will be enjoyed and passed around among Wiz’s fans. B+

Download These:
Hometown tribute Black and Yellow at
Dreamy and guitar-dipped The Race at

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