They say in your 20’s you’re not supposed to let anything or anyone hold you back. I had my first experience with that motto, when the person who got me access to Wiz Khalifa’s NYC listening party at 63 Gansevoort last night decided not to come. Being the (1) true Wiz fan that I am, (2) professional writer I’m supposed to be, and (3) opportunist, I sighed a few times, sucked it up and went alone.
I walked in, took the glass of red champagne that was waiting for me at the end of the runway, and turned into one of the coziest venues NYC has to offer: Up&Down. Dimly lit with just one main chandelier and scattered spotlights, I swear I was getting ready to snuggle up on one of the many lounge sofas instead of partaking in a listening party for Wiz Khalifa’s upcoming album ‘Khalifa’ set to release on Friday, February 5, 2016.
Hors d’oeuvres were passed around, three specialty drinks–each named after a track on the album–were on the house, and the aroma of marijuana filled the place better than any incense. Wiz literally made it feel like I was at a friends house just listening to music, you know… normal lifestyle.
Well, all normal things aside from the fact that Rihanna’s tattoo artist was there giving out free REAL tattoos and my “normal friends” were replaced with people including Elliot Wilson, Busta Rhymes, Odell Beckham Jr., Amber Rose, Victor Cruz, etc. etc. Hell, even the owner of Williamsburg’s own Sweet Chick, John Seymour, was there (I made sure to blame my future heart disease on him… John, I’m serious). Also, none of my friends have ever given me custom-made RAW rolling papers of all shapes and sizes, but NO TEA.
Doors opened at 7PM, and Wiz didn’t show up until around 9PM; this gave me enough time to meet URL peeps IRL including the ultra talented photographer Ravie B and rapidly rising NJ rapper Dougie F. The DJ kept everyone in the right mood playing both old-Wiz tracks and current artist tracks including Dougie’s “On Purpose” ft. Pitbull. If the room wasn’t cloudy enough, as soon as Wiz rolled through you would’ve thought it was the attack of the fog. At that point everyone including myself was ready to hear the highly anticipated album that is ‘Khalifa’.
Sharing tracks that ranged from his usual stoner-esque/lifted sound (“Elevate”) to more emotional ones like “Waiting”, it was very clear to see (or, rather, hear) the progress Wiz has accomplished as an artist. He’s definitely come a long way from his B.A.R. mixtape and his personal style/flow is even more solidified and refined. He snagged the ultimate crooner, Ty Dolla $ign, for one of his tracks, which is definitely a pleasant addition to the album and something to look out for. As if it wasn’t already evident how much passion, love and positivity gets put into his music, he made sure to let the 400-people crowd know, “I like to make people party, I like to make people think, so above all I just wanted to give a really good vibe and feeling,” ending his mini speech with, “I just really want you guys to enjoy it.”
When I wasn’t bopping my head to the beautifully mastered production, I was smiling in amazement with the rawness and honesty he laid out from beginning of the album to end. I’m sure the many “Elevated” drinks I had in my custom styrofoam cups enhanced my enthusiasm for the night, but nonetheless it was all positive and golden vibes. I mean, after all I went home with a good three month’s supply of Wiz Khalifa x RAW rolling papers (and even a blow up version of a doobie).
He said his goodbyes, thanked his “baby momma”/team, and everyone there that supported him. And, to think… I almost didn’t go because I didn’t have someone to go with; I would have never went to this amazing event, where Wiz Khalifa made me feel like one of his homies. Luckily, I’m just another single writer enjoying her 20’s, who made sure to be exactly where she was supposed to be.
Be sure to check out ‘Khalifa’ when it drops tomorrow!