Wiz Khalifa sends Fun Fun Fun Fest off in style

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Wiz Khalifa at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014. Tina Phan/American-Statesman
TINA PHAN/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

TINA PHAN/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Sunday night, rapper Wiz Khalifa did the honor of singing the swan song(s) for Fun Fun Fun Fest this year as he took the stage as one of the festival’s final headliners.

He didn’t come in and deliver Austin the greatest rap performance of all time, but he didn’t need to. He simply stayed in his lane, as he always does. That alone seemed to just enough to please the massive crowd that came out to see him on a cool Sunday night.

It’s hard to believe that the 27-year-old Khalifa is already an established veteran in the music business. Fresh off of the release of his third major LP, “Blacc Hollywood,” Khalifa has taken some criticism for not really evolving his sound or musical content through the years. But again, Wiz continues to play it safe in his approach to music by making subtle tweaks to the formula that has worked in the past.

Khalifa’s show Sunday night was a microcosm of his career so far. He hasn’t done too much to push the hip-hip culture forward from an innovative, creative standpoint, but he is consistently on the radar of rap pundits with hit records. He isn’t your lyrical assassin, but his simple, easy-listening approach to rap is what works for Wiz among his core fans.

That was this concert.

Khalifa would hit the stage at about 9 p.m., about 15 minutes later than his original 8:45 start time. He took the stage sporting his trademark Pittsburgh Pirates baseball hat, a black and white letterman jacket and a gold chain. Oh, and the purple dreadlocks are still a thing, too.

He started the show by easing the crowd in with two “Blacc Hollywood” tracks: “Hope” and “The Sleaze.” However, it wouldn’t be until his third song, “Work Hard Play Hard,” that the energy from the crowd would really pick up.

Energy was a big thing on Sunday night. It took a short while, maybe two songs, to build up. Once the crowd heard songs like “Roll Up,” “Taylor Gang” and, of course, “Black and Yellow,” it went crazy. Then, once the crowd’s energy picked up, Wiz’ energy seemed pick up as a result. At that point, we had a really live concert on our hands.

The turnout for Khalifa was pretty good and things went off without a hitch. He made up for lost time on the back end by staying on stage for about 17 minutes after his show was set to be over at 9:45 p.m.

After being able to sit and watch him perform for over an hour, you quickly start to appreciate and remember the rapper that has brought some of the genre’s biggest songs and mixtapes to the table in recent years. Then you understand how he has built the following he has.

While he didn’t do anything super spectacular on Sunday night, he did what he was supposed to do; give a good show. He did that while reminding fans of his already impressive catalog. Wiz Khalifa has hits and he wasn’t afraid to them off in the live music capital of the world on Sunday.


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