What can you say about Kush & OJ that hasn’t already been said? The mixtape that brought Wiz Khalifa to the suburbs came out in April 2010 and was the soundtrack to a shameful amount of high school antics. To a 16 year old kid, buying a bong that you saw in your favorite rapper’s newest video (“Kid Frankie”) and naming it after the song is only natural. Demi Lovato samples turned into a song about naked women and burning drugs? (“We’re Done”) open the tape and a young and hungry trio of Big KRIT, Curren$y and Wiz closeout the tape with a classic Southern style sub knocker (“Glass House”).
Within that April, Curren$y dropped his classic tape Smokee Robinson, Krit dropped his best work to date K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, and even Dom Kennedy dropped his killer EP of riding tunes, From the Westside, With Love. All this great music was percolating, available to us with a click of a mouse; I still don’t think I heard a track that wasn’t from Kush & OJ that entire spring.
Wiz isn’t dealing with any problems, he’s not trying to make any statement, he purely set out to make an album for people to “wake and bake to”, which he said on multiple occasions.
Before Kush & OJ, Wiz had dropped seven earlier mixtapes under Warner but it was obvious that as an artist he was still developing. Even though tapes like Flight School and Burn After Rolling gave us classic Wiz jams, Kush & OJ was his breakthrough.
His trademark skinny stoner bravado on full display, Wiz delivers lines like “At my hotel chillin/ Bad women come to fill my marijuana prescription” on “The Statement”. Wiz singlehandedly took listeners from a hip hop culture dominated by hard hitting gangster raps and gave us this masterpiece that asked us to do nothing more than smoke and chill.
Of course, the problem with making a project this good is that you have to follow it up. Wiz’s immediate project after Kush & OJ was another mixtape, this time blending the Prince of the City gangster era Wiz with the newfound “cloud rap” Khalifa. Cabin Fever was undeniably good but it was no Kush & OJ. After that came his second studio album Rolling Papers but it was clear that whatever magic herb he had been smoking during the Kush & OJ sessions had run out.
Kush & OJ was, and is, a classic because its one of those tapes that you can put on at any time and be completely taken away from wherever you’re at. The infectious refrain of “In the cut, in the cut, rolling doobies up” (“In The Cut”) will never cease to make heads bob and Wiz’s green anthem “Still Blazin’” has started more blunt sessions than maybe any track before it.
Regardless of your current opinion of Wiz, fallen off or otherwise, Kush & OJ is one of the best tapes to have in your rotation going into summer. Though it’s undoubtedly a tape full of songs for the ‘stoners’, even you non-weed smokers out there can enjoy this one. If you haven’t listened to this one hip hop fans, do something about it.