In a frantic flashback to 2012, the cramped, almost 5×5 bedroom where pot smoke and noise that can resemble a track, but can’t be ultimately pinpointed can be found. The middle school dwelling somewhere outside the city limits of Pittsburgh had 10 to a spot, while Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Allderdice was at a max volume.
2012 was a completely different time for music and an internet mixtape sound. The technical blog-era was alive and thriving. Being from Pittsburgh, it would be impossible not to have at least one or 20 tracks by Khalifa on your playlist. But it wasn’t really until Taylor Allderdice to when his sound was fully realized to that 14-year-old and to have a sense of combining truly fascinating instrumentation and delivery.
It begins with an interview featuring Rob Markman that carries through the 17 track mixtape. Explaining “Nobody to call, your big homie Rob. You know what it is, it’s Rob Markman on Twitter. Send all your hate mail, you know how we do it.” What follows is one of the more memorable hooks from Khalifa on the project, describing, “Getting paid just a regular thing to us, cause if it ain’t getting money it’s strange to us. And if you don’t wanna smoke you ain’t gotta pay, rolling up by myself tryna find a way.” The entire sound of Taylor Allderdice comes from the opening track “Mia Wallace” that sets the fine dining table for later pieces.
Tracks like “Mia Wallace” that continue to create revisitations even nearly ten years since that project first dropped. A lot of time has passed and many things have changed, but in some ways, time hasn’t really changed too much. Khalifa if anything has become more refined into his sound and while it is not similar to Taylor Allderdice, the continuous progression is impressive.
And that goes for the entire project, the final four tracks are what stand out as a perfect representation of the adaptability of Taylor Allderdice. Starting with “The Grinder” that features spaced out instrumentation and a percussive groove tough enough to rival Madlib’s “One Beer” beat.
Khalifa describes through the mix, “I mean I got enough to go around everything for the free so you ain’t gotta smoke with me and my homies, down to go at any one town and get this paper – I swear ain’t nobody do me no favors.” Truly one of the strongest verses coming from Khalifa on the project, he is both catchy and braggadocious without stepping outside the frames of golden reality.
Following is “Brainstorm” that takes a more psychedelic beat that is a great utilization of atmosphere and feels to be a candlelit dinner in a jacuzzi. The bubbles on the Cuban link is a trademark for Khalifa, but his two quick verses leave a more substantial construction toward “Number 16” and “Blindfolds.”
Here on “Number 16,” Khalifa is an acid-jazz performer that borders on both the pop sound and the more abstract undertone. The rough piano bounces in the intro bring light into the mix as the whole curtain pulls back to be a full range of orchestral sound. Even to the point of being possible as an Unplugged performance, Taylor Allderdice truly thrives off the instrumentation and this is Khalifa at his most sonically engaging. His verse that borders pride and recollection, Khalifa illustrates, “I made it happen, I made it happen. And niggas got mad at me cause I did this shit off of rapping. Hear what they saying, they need no luck because I macked it. And now I got my own gang, nigga I’m the captain.”
For people that shy away from Khalifa’s newer projects, diving into Taylor Allderdice is the perfect experience to hear a side that often times, goes missed because of his more popular releases at the time. With crowd favorites and some underneath bangers, it’s a reason to understand why he is one of the city’s champions for sound.