Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Rostrum Records, Frank Radio, and iHipHop Distribution are proud to announce the upcoming release of Wiz Khalifa's "Deal Or No Deal." The album will be available in stores and online November 24th.
After leaving Warner Bros. Records in July, Wiz's career has continued to take off independently. This past summer he released a now classic mixtape, "Flight School," and teamed up with Curren$y for the "How Fly" project. He has toured relentlessly and has continued to connect with his ever-growing fanbase in new and innovative ways.
"Deal Or No Deal" is a new 15-track album that displays Wiz's growth and progression as a world-class MC. Contributing producers include E. Dan, Josh Everette, Ryan M. Tedder, Johnny Juliano and Sledgren. Wiz also enlists Curren$y, Kev Da Hustla, Lavish, and Josh Everette as featured guest artists.
Wiz will continue to tour throughout the year with upcoming stops in Indiana, New York City, Philadelphia, Houston, Los Angeles, and additional cities to be announced soon.
"Most people know Pittsburgh emcee Wiz Khalifa because of his great, 2008 synth-heavy single "Say Yeah." TheDXnext alum is fully aware of that appeal, because damn near every song on Deal Or No Deal feels like an attempt to somehow recapture the glory of said song: synth riffs dominate the mix (though none as catchy as the Alice Deejaysample from "Say Yeah!") while lyrics focus almost exclusively on women, weed, and money, and a steady, if at times overly-simple beat anchors the proceedings. But unfortunately, no song on Khalifa's second pre-release album captures the effervescent atmosphere of his best single, though some come remarkably close. In doing so, the mid-tempo groove that most of the songs are locked into makes the album drag for long stretches. It's this lack of youthful energy, which was so abundant on "Say Yeah!", that makes Deal Or No Deal less than satisfying, as when you listen to an album from a talented 22 year-old one of the last things you expect it to ever be is lethargic.
And it isn't always. There are a handful of tracks that while not reaching Khalifa's previous heights still remind the listener that this guy knows how to make a good club track. The rapper doesn't have a ton to say, so it's not surprising that he works best on the higher energy tracks where he lets his arrogance go unchecked and concerns himself only with making the best club friendly track he can. There are songs like "Moola And The Guap", an lively posse cut oozes along nicely despite having a title that sounds like the name of a terrible morning-zoo radio show. Then there's "Lose Control", a track that essentially tries to squeeze every radio trend of the last 12 months into three verses, but it still works nonetheless, are proof that when Wiz can be extremely entertaining without always being a lyricist. Further proof of this is found on "Red Carpet", the album's only "for the ladies" track with any replay value because of its light production (whining synths, plinking piano lines, and soft-rock guitar) and because of Wiz's laid back and goofy approach. It's a far more endearing personality than the one he presents on the other slow jams on the records, the forgettable behind-the-scenes "Studio Lovin'" and "Right Here" which features painfully trite lyrics like "Are you my drug / I need you most / I'll take you till I overdose." That line is only matched by Curren$y's advice, in the similarly themed "Friendly", to a girl that she "not blow it like birthday candles." Mid-tempo love songs are not Khalifa's strong suit, and they should probably be avoided entirely in the future.
Happily things pickup at the end of the record with three of its best songs coming in the last four tracks. "Take Away" is one of the few slower cuts that actually leaves a lasting impression, Khalifa's youthful ego matching the majestic stroll of the beat. "Young Boy Talk" is the one place on Deal Or No Deal where Wiz matches the heaviness and intensity of early street hit "Crazy Since the 80s." The updated carnation wheezes along and Wiz matches it by sounding like he is rapping with real purpose. The only song that really approaches "Say Yeah!" is "This Plane", Deal Or No Deal's first single. Here that effortless energy is again present. The track is made using the same formula as all the rest but it's lighter, airier and boasts the albums best hook by far. Wiz shines brightest because he chooses to just talk himself up in the simplest way possible, with clever lines like "So while you busy tryin' to fit in I'm-a stand out / And view my life through this lens and see how it pans out."
With the album ending on high note it's easy to imagine Wiz getting his act together and making an album that's good from start to finish. And if he does it will be easy to forgive the youthful missteps of this album. But until then, Khalifawill remain a talented young guy on the verge, one who doesn't seem confident enough yet to ditch the cookie cutter slow jams and the mid-tempo, hook-less tracks that follow the formula but forget the little things (like humor, and liveliness and joy) and just let loose with what he does best: high energy club tracks and blustering street bangers." - HipHopDX
"After months of keeping himself at the forefront of every Hip-Hop blog on the Internet, and a catalog of mixtapes to boot, one of the faces of Hip-Hop's next generation in Wiz Khalifa [Click to watch video interview] finally releases his second studio album in Deal Or No Deal.Taking the smart route, the youngster born Cameron Thomaz keeps the guest spots down to a minimum, by only inviting partner in rhyme Curren$y[Click for video interview], along with fellow newcomers, L.C. and Lavish.
From there, the 22-year-old Pittsburgh native begins his second go-around with solid introductory tracks like the braggadocio 'Bout Y'all,' and the "boy meets girl" tale of 'Chewy.'
Curren$y makes his way onto 'Friendly,' which is also featured on their collaborative How Fly mixtape.[Click here to sample and download mixtape] On 'Goodbye,' Khalifa goes away from his playful and innocent lyricism, and trades it in for subject matter containing stories of jealously, incarcerated friends and family, and the importance of taking care of his loved ones.
The Taylor Gang affiliate then gets back into character on the well-produced 'Moola & The Guap' (feat. L.C.& Lavish); where all three artists talk about the perks of having an extensive bank account.
Other songs that can be considered as deal makers are contributions like the 'Computer Love'-esque'Studio Lovin,' 'Red Carpet (Like A Movie),' the slow-tempo of 'Take Away,' and 'This Plane';while other pieces of music like the Autotune-riddled 'Superstar,' and 'Lose Control,'along with 'Hit The Flo' serve more as deal breakers.
Since it's birth, Hip-Hop has been divided into sections, therefore, it's never hard for anyone to find just what they're looking for, and Wiz Khalifa shows that diversity by showing you don't always have to be conscious, thugged out, or militant on Deal Or No Deal.
It's no secret that Hip-Hop is the most competitive genre in all of the business with everyone trying to be number one, but with Wiz Khalifa's Deal Or No Deal record, he was too busy making feel-good music, and it's always nice to see that - that part of this storied culture hasn't been forgotten." - IhipHop
Audio Mixer: E. Dan.
Photographer: Jordan Beckham.