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[Herald Review]Wiz Khalifa goes wild and free in Seoul

By Hong Dam-young

Published : May 4, 2017 - 17:24

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The smoke-loving rapper, to quote one of his many hits, was indeed young, wild and free.

“Korea, make some noise!” he screamed, opening his set at the Seoul Sessions Live Music Event 2017 on Wednesday at Seoul Sports Complex with “Bake Sale,” from his self-titled album “Khalifa” released last year. 

After chugging some water, the rapper wildly spat the liquid into the air. It was his way of greeting the crowd of nearly 20,000 people, who obliged by chanting the rapper’s name and his label “Taylor Gang” in unison.  

American rapper Wiz Khalifa performs at Culture Square in Seoul Sports Complex on Wednesday, headlining the Seoul Sessions Live Music Event 2017. (Mixmag Korea) American rapper Wiz Khalifa performs at Culture Square in Seoul Sports Complex on Wednesday, headlining the Seoul Sessions Live Music Event 2017. (Mixmag Korea)
Khalifa closed the single-day festival, following Korean rappers Zico and BewhY, who also headlined the event.

Before landing in Korea, Khalifa had promised he would present the most unforgettable memories to fans in Seoul, and even requested festival organizers extend the running time of his performance. He kept his promise.

Khalifa ramped up the audience with hits such as “Roll Up” and “You and Your Friends,” smoothing out the transitions between the numbers and sometimes demonstrating flexible dance movements. 

The rapper, ever a professional, made sure to keep the audience’s energy level high throughout his hourlong performance. When he dropped his tropical print shirt and revealed his tattooed chest halfway into his set, the audience responded with loud squeals.

Catering to his older fans, he also performed a mix of classics such as “Black and Yellow” and “No Sleep,” while repeatedly asking the crowd, “Who here smokes weed?” 

American rapper Wiz Khalifa performs at Culture Square in Seoul Sports Complex on Wednesday, headlining the Seoul Sessions Live Music Event 2017. (Mixmag Korea) American rapper Wiz Khalifa performs at Culture Square in Seoul Sports Complex on Wednesday, headlining the Seoul Sessions Live Music Event 2017. (Mixmag Korea)
Though he jumped around the stage half naked for a while, he didn’t forget to remind the audience he could stand still and perform as a vocalist as well. A microphone stand in his hands, he touched fans’ hearts with “Promises,” a saccharine track from his 2014 album “Blacc Hollywood.”

The best part of the performance, as expected, came with the rapper’s most famous hit “See You Again,” with the audience singing along. “We Dem Boyz,” another hit, was next in the wave of nostalgia.

As the night grew late, Khalifa chose “Young, Wild and Free” as the finale.

The tune was definitely the highlight of the nearly one-hour set, with confetti showering the audience and spectators singing the chorus: “So what we get drunk? So what we smoke weed? We’re just having fun. We don’t care who sees.”

After the rapper left the stage without an encore, the audience kept humming the last song’s chorus, mesmerized.

Wednesday marked the hottest day of the year so far. Yet, the audience seemed to have forgotten the heat, being young, wild and free with the rapper. 

By Hong Dam-young (lotus@heraldcorp.com)