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Smoke Rises Over Wiz Khalifa Show

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Rapper Wiz Khalifa peered out from behind his dark sunglasses and ball cap into the soldout audience at Casino del Sol's AVA Wednesday night.

"How many of y'all smoking good weed out here?" he asked, and the amphitheater exploded in a deafening chorus of whistles and "yeahs" punctuated by f-bombs.

"I'm smoking everywhere I go / No stick, no seeds, just Al Green /I always gotta keep one rolled / I keep that, need that, got that," he sang, and the crowd filled in the missing voice of Khalifa's duet partner Snoop Dogg on the pot anthem "That Good."

Judging from the lingering stench of marijuana that permeated every corner of the 5,000-capacity amphitheater, Khalifa was preaching to the faithful.

Khalifa is a connoisseur of the bud and aspiring master of rapping about its virtues in songs that lean more toward radio-friendly pop than the gangsta rap of his hip-hop forefathers. His latest tour and album, "Rolling Papers," comes shrouded in a marijuana haze - from the design of the album cover to the marijuana leaf blasting from the LED screen on his DJ booth.

He is sharing the tour with budding rookie Big Sean and fledgling rapper Chevy Woods, a member of Khalifa's Taylor Gang, who also rap heavy about getting high, But they were not nearly as confident as Khalifa, the newly crowned BET Best New Artist whose digital downloads sell in the millions and singles scale the charts.

Khalifa strutted the length of the stage wearing the requisite backward cap, baggy tank top and matching baggy shorts hung low on his hips. He danced and bounced about like an aerobics instructor on an adrenaline overdose, generating an excitement that was contagious. He is blessed with scary rapping talents, a decent singing voice and a commanding stage presence of someone far older than his 23 years.

In a 75-minute set, he praised the joys of smoking pot through songs from his early mixtapes - "B.A.R. (Burn After Rollin')," "The Thrill" and "Cabin Fever" and "Gang Bang," which included a guest appearance by opening act Big Sean - and from his months-old CD "Rolling Papers," including the party-all-night anthem "No Sleep."

The AVA pulsated with the chorus of nearly 5,000 people singing along to his multiplatinum-selling hit "Black & Yellow" and the pop toe-tapper "Roll Up." As he launched in to the final chorus, he dashed off stage and dragged model girlfriend Amber Rose into the spotlight. He got on bended knees and serenaded her as the audience broke out in another round of thunderous applause.

The last time Khalifa played a Tucson show was at the Rialto Theatre last fall. That show sold out so fast that the Rialto decided to bring him back to a bigger venue.

Tucson also got reintroduced to rising hip-hop star Big Sean, who also played a Rialto show last year. Big Sean - aka Sean Anderson - played several songs off his just-released freshman CD "Finally Famous" including his hit single "I Do It" and "High," and several early mixtape singles, including "Too Fake" and the crowd favorite "What U Doin'?"

As Big Sean bopped around the stage bumping his hands in the air like he was leading a cardio workout, it was hard not to imagine his low-slung, knee-length shorts falling off. Not once in his nearly hour-long set did he attempt to pull them up even as they rested below his butt.

It was a minor distraction from Big Sean's trademark "Supa Dupa Flow," a rap style that he pioneered and his higher-profile contemporary Drake has copied. The flow ends with a one-word punch line.

Big Sean's show came a day after his highly anticipated debut album "Finally Famous" came out on Tuesday. Several times during the show, the artist bemoaned the timing - the disc dropped the same day as Beyonce's new CD "4." Big Sean said Beyonce debuted at No. 1 and followed at No. 2.

NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: azstarnet.com
Author: Cathalena E. Burch
Copyright: Arizona Daily Star
Contact: StarNet: Contact List
Website: Review: Smoke rises over Wiz Khalifa show
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