Live In Concert is fun, but fans of ‘How Fly’ may have to look elsewhere.
Fashioned after Jazz artist Bobbi Humphrey’s 1975 Fancy Dancer album, Live In Concert is the product of what has been a rather roller coaster 8 months for the duo, dubbed the “how fly boys”. The nickname came on the heels of their critically-acclaimed joint 2009 mixtape, aptly titled How Fly, which is the project often credited with endearing fans of each rapper to the other’s fan base. Though the initial release date for this project was August 7th of last year, due to Mac Miller’s legal troubles with Lord Finesse and Donald Trump relating to sample clearances, Spitta & Wiz chose to take their time and get everything situated before LIC was released. The decision turned out to be a good one, as it turns out they would have to release the project as a retail album, which they did this past Saturday much to the delight of their devoted fans.
Though it has been a disheartening conclusion to come to, neither Curren$y nor Wiz Khalifa were in top form on Live In Concert. At times it seemed as if Bobbi Humphrey was the main artist on the album, and when the duo rapped, they seemed uninspired by the laid back, serene instrumentals crafted by the flutist. Sub-par raps thankfully aren’t a prevalent theme for the majority of Live In Concert, but a couple of the tracks pass by in a rather dispirited manner. Opening the album with the infectious “Cabana”, which concludes with drums and flutes so bouncy it would make the most immobile of listeners move a limb or two, it seemed as if Live In Concert was poised to be a prime example of exactly what the title said it was. However, “Landing”, which features a rather braggadocious Wiz Khalifa “Might dress kinda funny to n*ggas, I got more money than n*ggas”, seems more like a 20/20 Experience-esque second part to “Cabana” rather than an entire song in and of itself. Furthermore, for more than a minute, Bobbi Humphrey’s instrumentals once again led the way as the song ended–in a superb manner, nonetheless–making the duos raps somewhat forgettable by the time the piano keys began to open up the third track, a trend shared by at least two of the following tracks, including “For Her”, and “Toast”.
Though “Cabana” could be discussed as a high point, the EP continues on with not much of a show-stopping moment, as “The Blend”, and “Revenge and Cake”, all prove to be reminiscent of the first two songs. The music is fun, and the implementation of Humphrey’s authentic orchestration makes for what seems like a perfect April soundtrack, but the album seems to have been crafted as one very long song, rather than individual concepts, making a singular high point rather difficult to pin point. There is nothing abysmal or overly disappointing about the project, Curren$y & Wiz Khalifa’s raps are enjoyable, the instrumentals are unique and moody, but after listening to the album several times, its difficult to remember which song is which, even if its playing. Having to push back the EP several times, eventually making it a retail project, may have hurt the overall stock of Live In Concert, for as time builds, so does anticipation, and this EP wasn’t quite the three course meal fans were looking for to fulfill their appetites. By objective and generic standards, we have no choice but to give the two rappers from New Orleans and Pittsburgh a “bravo” for a job well done, but if How Fly could be personified in any way, he wouldn’t be too pleased with his encore.
-Khari Nixon (@KingVanGogh)