- Wiz Khalifa performed two sold-out shows at 9:30 club last night. (publicity photo)
Every weed rapper seems to have loyal fans who are easy to please—just ask Snoop, B-Real of Cypress Hill, or Devin the Dude. All these MCs have to do is throw out a few references to getting high, and smokers will eat it up like they've got the munchies. But just because these listeners are high doesn't mean they can't appreciate quality rhymes. Wiz Khalifa (with opener Big K.R.I.T) was at the 9:30 Club last night, for the D.C. stop of his sold-out Waken Baken tour. The Pittsburgh rapper, who recently signed to Atlantic Records, seems to touch people with his enthusiasm for his hometown sports teams, weed, full-body tattoo art, and Chuck Taylors. And while he revisits the same themes over and over and over again, his rhymes are varied and unique. Last night's early set at 9:30 club streamed live on Khalifa's website, so he asked his fans, the Taylor Gang, as he calls them as a group, to get "extra crazy," but it was a completely unnecessary request.
The Waken Baken posters taped up around the venue were quickly pulled down by Wiz fans who wanted a souvenir.
Funniest track title: "Smoker Face," which, of course, uses Lady Gaga's "Poker Face."
Because the crowd was so young, appearing to fall mostly within the 18-20 range, the bar was not as busy as it usually is during sold-out shows, but there was a huge run on the free iced water.
Everything Khalifa performed from the Kush and Orange Juice mixtape sounded hazy and beautiful, particularly "Mezmorized" and "Up."
Wiz and crew's airplane arm motions, executed during "The Thrill," are probably the best aviation-themed moves since T-Pain's G5 craze took off.
There was a ton of room on the floor, but the balcony was insanely packed. Make of that what you will.
Last time I was at a show where so many actual lighters were put in the air, rather than cell phones: 1998.
Wiz didn't talk about his recent arrest, but he did manage to get in a plug for his own line of rolling papers.
Variations of Taylor Gang members: Wiz shouted out his Taylor Gang throughout the night, but also showed love to "Lady Taylors," and "O.G. Taylors."
Number of times Khalifa said "Smoke weed everyday," in a Nate Dogg voice: At least 3.
Waken Baken is the best weed-inspired hip-hop tour name since Snoop's Puff Puff Pass tour.
Waken Baken, in case you're curious, is how Khalifa always starts his day—by waking up, and getting baked.
Number of times I was asked if I had gotten high before coming to the show: One. When I told the young man, who seemed to be taking a poll, that I was too old to smoke, he replied: "Too old! No such thing! My grandfather smokes! Matter fact, I smoke with my grandfather.
Khalifa's shirt comes off for "Ink My Whole Body," the better to show off his many, many tatts. Fun fact: When Wiz shot a video for this track, his whole body was not yet inked.
Number of random dudes on stage with Wiz: Too many.
Wiz attributes his lovely singing voice to that proven vocal lubricant, green. "Everybody be telling me I can sing, but I just be high as fuck," he said.
Wiz didn't end with "Black and Yellow," but with "This Plane" and "The Statement."
The Pittsburgh Steelers may never be able to have a formal relationship with such an open weed smoker, but they should at least hook him up with a lifetime supply of Terrible Towels.
Check out Wiz Khalifa's 9:30 club show. Video begins at the 25:00 mark.