Unless you’re one of his perpetually red eyed fans or a big fan of the TMNT soundtrack, then Wiz Khalifa’s name most likely either reminds you of an irritating anthem for the Cowboys or this gif.
These days Wiz isn’t much of a commodity in the Hip-Hop community. This is insane to me because I remember a time when he RAN the game. I’m not saying that he had the best bars or was ever even considered to be a part of a top 5 conversation, but as far as the zeitgeist goes Wiz was king. During this time his mixtapes were on everyone’s iPods, everybody was rocking a nappy fro with a little bit of blonde in the front, and you could not walk through the halls of any (or at least my) high school without seeing a bunch of clones decked out in Taylor Gang hoodies, 501 jeans/Camo cargo shorts, and a pair of Chuck Taylors. My man had the youth culture in the palm of his hand…and then he dropped his debut and we all had a confused look on our faces. I was optimistic and thought that the change was a first album slip and that he’d return to form with his sophomore album.
So today I figured I’d take a look at the mixtape that raised our expectations to astronomic levels just so they’d come crashing down when Rolling Papers came out. That’s right this Tape Tuesday we’re looking at Cabin Fever.
So this tape starts of with “Phone Numbers” which is a great ‘ I’m rich biotch!!’ song. Brag rap at its finest, this song features Trae Tha Truth and Big Sean. Triple T’s unique voice and steady flow during his verse grounds the song in a way, while Sean blew my mind with his punchlines (because this was my first time hearing him and I had no idea that his bars would stay at the nursery rhyme level). From there we get the title track which aside from a beat that makes your ears perk up, really isn’t all that notable. Big Sean returns to steal the show again on GangBang with lines like “and the car I’m pushing got more tint than a campground” and “young enough to be your son, but she cal me Big Papa/ She gave me her o nana/ then I disappear like tada.” Some of his more juvenile lines should have detracted from my high opinion of him, (“bitch I’m ten feet tall when I’m standing on top of my dick”) but I was like in 10th grade when this came out so I probably thought that was heckin amazing or whatever it is we used to say back then. Wiz’ verse isn’t super impressive bar wise, but he does have this bouncy energetic flow that keeps you into the song and want to sing along. Which honestly could be said about this entire tape.
There honestly isn’t too much to say about Cabin Fever. It’s only 9 tracks long and none of those tracks are north of 5 minutes. Like I said earlier lyrics aren’t really Khalifa’s strong suit which is something that he painfully demonstrates over and over again. “Rapping ass nigga/ there go Wiz he a rapping ass nigga” “I heard that money grows on trees so I grew one” “Good Weed/ no stress/ run my town/ arms, chest/ lift weights, Bowflex.”
But at one point he says “I got money, you can keep your talent” so I guess there’s no point in scrutinizing that any further. Aside from the Big Sean verses, the features are sort of mediocre. Though Juicy J makes “Errday” your favorite track on the tape (he also makes for a great morning alarm). One song that stands out on this tape is “Middle Of You”. It has a polished pop sound that doesn’t match the rest of the tape at all, and honestly it should have been an indication of the direction Khalifa was going to go in after this project.
Overall Rating: 5/10 I still love this mixtape, but I’m not gonna sit here and act like it isn’t kind of bad
Standout Tracks: Phone Numbers, GangBang, Errday, WTF
Favorite Line: “That nigga/ they tellin me I’m that nigga/ like the room’s full of white folks I’m that nigga”
So there you have it. What do you think? Was I too harsh? Was I too forgiving? Or was I just straight up wrong to bring this tape up in the first place? Please comment and let me know your thoughts. If you don’t have an opinion on this review because you haven’t heard this tape, then I implore you to check it out, if only to argue with me in the comments.
There’s Some Flava For Your Ear
P.S. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY