Words by Husam Elgenied
Photography by Karan Teli
Wiz’s Rolling Papers concert back in 2011 at the London Brixton Academy was the first American artist that I had ever witnessed live. This time around, I was ready and excited to see how he had progressed 7 years on. Funnily enough, my excitement wasn’t to celebrate his new work per se, but to reminisce on his classic record Kush & OJ. When I arrived at Roundhouse, the line was booming, the crowd was ready, and as you would expect of a typical Wiz audience, all were smoking and vibing with each other.
To open up the show, Wiz invited the young California artist, Buddy who proved to be the perfect tone-setter. Performing his tracks ‘Black ft Asap Ferg’, ‘Trouble on Central’ and more from his upcoming album “Harlan & Alondra”, the crowd where intensely buying into and engaging with his art and presence.
Now for the main attraction, Mr Stoner himself. Wiz showed out in a white jumpsuit wearing his infamous P for Pittsburgh snapback (the same one he had on 7 years ago); his ride or die attitude for his hometown, and of course, his Taylor Gang who are right by his side everywhere he goes. The feeling amongst the London crowd was as if Wiz had welcomed them into his family and home, kind of like you would with your in-laws. Wiz performed his crowd favorites ‘Mesmerised’, ‘In The Cut’ and ‘pedal to the metal’, reminding everyone what brought him to this stage of his career. His performance value has definitely increased, from throwing inflatable blunts to bringing out his old roommate; Wiz showed a different dynamic, promoting free thought, and of course, Khalifa Kush.
I would usually leave a concert of this nature feeling nostalgic, but this time around, I rather felt invigorated and excited for what was to come next. Wiz made this performance seem as if an album had just dropped – futuristic but with the music of his past. I think I can safely say that on behalf of London Wiz, you are welcome back any time!