Just one week ahead of Wiz Khalifa’s O.N.I.F.C. December 4 release date, Atlantic and Rostrum Records invited XXL (and group of industry insiders) to a private listening session of the new album Monday night. Wiz was in attendance at the gritty Westway location with his Taylor Gang crew. After rolling up a giant Gotti, the Pittsburgh native jumped right into his 17-track offering. Here are eight things XXL learned about his upcoming album. —Eric Diep (@E_Diep)
Wiz has worked with a lot of artists throughout his career, but noted that Harlem’s own Cam’ron was a big moment for him. Killa Cam was one of his rap influences coming up in the game. He wasn’t quick to forget a few more—Juicy J, Bun B, Snoop Dogg, and every member of the Wu-Tang Clan. Based on Wiz’s earlier records with Juicy and Snoop, some of those dream collaborations have already come true.
wiz khalifa pharrell_jpeg_Rise Above
Rumors have been flying recently about Jay-Z's upcoming album - and he's stepped out with the long hair looking like he's in work-mode to prove it. Last week, Pharrell did a radio interview with Hot 97's Angie Martinez and told her that "Rain Man is back." To celebrate the incredible records we're sure they're cooking up as well as his previous hip-hop efforts, we've compiled a photo gallery of photos of Pharrell with your favorite rappers. Check it out.
From the infectious “Taylor Gang” to “The Code,” Wiz always makes sure to have one anthem dedicated to his team. “Initiation” is no different with another certified banger by his in-house producer, Sledgren. You want to pay attention to Lola Monroe who goes off on the beat like never before.
Like many of the rap crews today, Taylor Gang is also expanding and looking for new talents. Wiz introduced Courtney Noelle, the first R&B singer/songwriter signed to the label. The pair—who has worked on music since they were 16—co-wrote “Got Everything,” another cut produced by Sledgren with an experimental feel to it. “Whatever you need/we got it, got it,” Noelle sings, channeling a ‘90s vibe, flexing much potential in vocals.
Juicy and Wiz have appeared on tons of tracks from various mixtapes. But on “The Plan,” Wiz described the song as if both the aesthetics of Pittsburgh and Memphis came together. He also pointed the listeners to immerse themselves in his reflective lyrics here. “The message of what I am saying is real,” he said.
Definition: To flash out, gloat about, or just plain show off something expensive or well-wanted
Midway through O.N.I.F.C., he pointed out that Marvin Gaye and Pink Floyd’s sequencing on their albums greatly influenced him. On the Drumma Boy-produced “Bluffin,” Wiz’s braggadocio set the stage for the track’s follow-up, “The Bluff.” He credits this musical continuation style to Gaye.