Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Charlotte's 2011 concert season keeps getting better. It's recently been announced that Wiz Khalifa is bringing his "Rolling Papers World Tour" to Charlotte on July 20 to Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre (the latest corporate-sponsored name for the amphitheater located at NC Music Factory). Tickets go on sale to the general public on April 20, as in 4/20, thanks to the Mary Jane-loving Wiz.

Wiz is certainly the hottest rapper to break onto the scene in the past year and a half, thanks largely to his monster hit/tribute to Pittsburgh, "Black and Yellow." He also built a large following before he attained mainstream success. The Taylor Gang, as his loyal fans are known, have been riding with him for a while due to his social media prowess, and the grind that keeps him traveling to perform in cities large and small almost every night of the week. This tour, however, represents his growing star power since he'll be playing medium-size to large venues. Members of the Taylor Gang Fan Club are able to buy pre-sale concert tickets beginning tomorrow.

I can't say I've jumped on the Wiz Khalifa bandwagon just yet (it doesn't matter--Amber Rose did). I like some of his songs, but it hasn't propelled me to download any of his mixtapes or buy his album. Once I'm a fan of an artist, I buy every CD he/she puts out (which is sadly becoming fewer and farther between).

I am excited about one of his guests on the tour, though: Big Sean. In case you aren't familiar, Big Sean is the G.O.O.D. Music (the record label run by Kanye West) artist that's bubbling now after years of hard work. His new single, "My Last" featuring Chris Brown, is currently one of my favorite songs (I've posted the video below). I respect his lyricism and the fresh air he's bringing to hip-hop. I'm anticipating that he'll have a breakout year this year.

The opening act for the tour is Chevy Woods, a fellow Pittsburgh rapper and member of Wiz's crew. I'm not that familiar with him though. This will actually be Wiz's third show in Charlotte in little more than a year. He performed at Amos' Southend last June, but that was before "Black and Yellow" catapulted him. And he was here just last month at Club 935 during the mass-load of events that were going on while the CIAA Tournament was in town. But as I mentioned earlier, this is pretty much Wiz's first real tour. And playing the high-as-a-kite character like he did at Amos and other similar-sized venues and nightclubs isn't going to translate well to the large stage at the amphitheater. He's going to need to show that he can command a stage that size.

Of the 27 dates announced for the tour, three are in the Carolinas: July 18 at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach; July 20 at Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre here in Charlotte; and July 21 at White Oak Amphitheatre in Greensboro. For more details, visit


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