Yesterday was indeed a big day for the Taylor Gang’s beloved leader, as Wiz both released his debut album on Atlantic Records, Rolling Papers, and rocked a sold out show at New York’s Roseland Ballroom.
XXL Freshman and fellow Rostrum Records artist Mac Miller warmed up the crowd for Khalifa, performing cuts from August 2010′s K.I.D.S. as well as his recent Best Day Ever, which dropped earlier this month. Older favorites like “Nikes On My Feet” and “Knock Knock” were mixed in with more recent “Oy Vey” and “Donald Trump.” Mac’s EP, On and On and Beyond, hit iTunes yesterday.
The few thousand in attendance brought their already high energy to an elevated level when Wiz hit the stage shortly after 10 p.m. Kicking his set off with “Phone Numbers” from Cabin Fever, along with special guest Trae Tha Truth, the star of the show would spend the next hour running through standouts from that recent mixtape as well as Kush & Orange Juice and Rolling Papers.
Typically upbeat, the Pittsburgh spitter was particularly elated and moved by the support of his fans on this night, as he clearly recognized what a big moment the album release was for his career. After showing love to both old fans and new, Wiz actually broke into tears. “I’m comfortable with this shit,” he said of bearing his soul and shedding tears. “I don’t give a fuck.”
Young Khalifa did plenty of records from his latest project, including “The Race,” “On My Level” and “Rooftops,” but also took it a little further back with Kush & Orange Juice‘s “Mesmerized” and “Up.” The set rounded out with former No. 1 hit “Black and Yellow,” after which Wiz again thanked his fans and record labels, and triumphantly and fittingly headed off stage to the Lex Luger-producer “Taylor Gang.” —Adam Fleischer