Rap veteran, Wiz Khalifa has unleashed his seventh studio album ‘Multiverse’. The project is the rapper’s first full-length album since 2018, four years after its predecessor ‘Rolling Papers 2’.they After a lengthy career in the industry, Khalifa touches on the wisdom and nostalgia that comes with growth and progress. The 17-track album includes features from THEY. and Girl Talk, who Wiz worked with earlier this year on their joint album, ‘Full Court Press’.
‘Big Daddy Wiz’ pulls in a Taste of Honey sample (also used on the old school Positive K track ‘I Got A Man’) right off the bat to start the project on strong grounds, even if it does start to unravel slightly towards the end. ‘Memory Lane’ Stands as one of the most classically Wiz Khalifa tracks on the project. He raps about embracing meaningful connections within a relationship rather than fixating on struggles over a breezy beat, bringing out the mid-2010s sound that has entrenched so many of his best-loved releases.
‘Multiverse’ has drill, hip-hop, pop, R&B and a little bit of 80s synth influences floating around. In some ways, it presented as slightly confused but on the other hand, did delve into a more experimental realm than Wiz had been through in his past releases. It’s entirely comprehensible that an artist who’s hitting so many milestones in terms of longevity would take an opportunity to challenge their range rather than jumping around in the same conceptual box. Nobody could begrudge Wiz Khalifa that.
However, if you’re going to bring in a more experimental side it’s also important to bring your A game, otherwise, you can start sounding a little bit out of place and not in the avant-garde “I wanted it like that” kind of way. In truth that appears to be what happened on ‘We Don’t Go Out To Nightclubs Anymore/Candlelight Girl’ where a brilliant horn-laden intro gives way to a second half that places an ill-fitting pop-style lyricism on top of what would otherwise be a spectacular interlude.
‘Mirror love’ is a synth-infused melody that narrates rediscovering yourself after walking away from a connection. The lyricism doesn’t come through as strong here but it definitely presents as one of the more experimental parts of the album, along with the incorporation of drill on ‘Keys’ where Wiz Khalifa’s iconic sound melds effortlessly with the cadence that a drill beat provides.
It seems incredibly limiting to hold an artist like Wiz Khalifa to his highest points on every release. In some ways, he connects very closely with the message he’s putting together, especially in his spoken word rap on ‘Homies’. Although ‘Multiverse’ couldn’t be presented as his best work it still holds weight in the scope of his releases and points to an artist who is still seeking adaptation and new spaces from growth within their catalogue.
Words: Naima Sutton