Review: Wiz Khalifa’s ‘Cabin Fever 2’ shows no change in style, still delivers

Ryan Morris

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

Following the remarkable success of Wiz Khalifa’s summer release, the free album “Taylor Allderdice,” Wiz Khalifa released his second mixtape of the year this past week with the second installment in the “Cabin Fever” series.

Wiz Khalifa’s second album on a major label album, “O.N.I.F.C.,” is slated to be released in early Dec, after a slew of obnoxious label-induced delays.

Khalifa’s debut, 2011 Grammy-nominated “Rolling Papers,” debuted at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Albums chart, backed by the singles “Black & Yellow” (a mainstay at Appalachian State football games), “Roll Up” and “On My Level.”

Khalifa has stayed relevant in the public’s conscience by way of tabloids, his engagement to Amber Rose and their recent announcement of Rose’s pregnancy and a few singles, most notably “Work Hard, Play Hard” and “Young, Wild 7 Free” with the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg, now Snoop Lion.

Khalifa has mostly been known as a fun-loving artist who absolutely loves to smoke an insane amount of cannabis, hence the title of his aforementioned debut album. March’s “Taylor Allderdice” and October’s “Cabin Fever 2” do little or nothing to change the predetermined lane Khalifa has carved for himself.

The mixtape features new signees to Khalifa’s label, Rostrum Records, such as Problem and Lavish, as well as a hip-hop old head, Juicy J. The latter stands out only as comic relief, mostly unintentionally, and the rest of the mixtape’s featured artists are easily forgettable.

One thing that Khalifa has always been good at doing is selecting beats. Khalifa flows so well over the beats he chooses and just sounds so damn cool that it’s easy to forget the monotonous absence of lyricism that abounds within his lyrics.

In fairness, most of Wiz Khalifa’s fan base is composed of 20-somethings and high school students whose idea of fun in hanging out in the parking lot of a grocery store smoking Swisher Sweets while bumping Khalifa’s newest mixtape as the soundtrack for the night, so his lyrical merit cannot be measured against a release like Aesop Rock or El-P.

Nothing bad can be said about this mixtape except for the fact that it is blatantly stupid music. That is what Khalifa does. He makes music that makes the listeners bob their heads and sing the chorus when it comes around. It’s harmless, so why complain?

December’s “O.N.I.F.C.” can assumedly follow stylistics displayed on “Rolling Papers,” “Taylor Allderdice” and “Cabin Fever,” simply lazy, catchy, smoking music. Taylor Gang is alive and well, and whether you choose to scream “TGOD” or not is not going to stop Khalifa’s reign as hip-hop’s best Chester Cheeto impersonator.

Rating: Three out of four stars.

Story: WILL GREENE, A&E Reporter