Is Wiz Khalifa as "raunchy" as a Star Tribune writer says?

Categories: Aw Naw Hell Naw
Wiz_Khalifa_Soundset_Denis_Jeong_Plaster.jpg
Photo by Denis Jeong Plaster
Wiz Khalifa at Soundset 2010.
Related:
Up in the air: How Minneapolis became a flyover city for major rap artists
Kiss, Motley Crue lead Minnesota State Fair 2012 offerings

Star Tribune published two stories Tuesday detailing the Minnesota State Fair's latest Grandstand additions, but one would've been plenty. A couple hours after the paper's prominent music critic Chris Riemenschneider noted that Soundset veterans Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller would be the first rap performers to hit the Fair since Vanilla Ice in '91, we got another piece from a guy who doesn't frequent the "Variety" section. For good reason. 

Daytime breaking news reporter Paul Walsh's "Raunchy rappers to close out the State Fair for 2012" manages to pack a whole lot of off-base cultural commentary into a measly 144 words. Hip-hop fans and anyone getting paid to report for a living should be insulted that this was deemed worthy for publication.

Since Walsh's story came after Riemenschneider's, it's possible that he saw the photograph of Wiz Khalifa accompanying it and started hatching some pretty broad assumptions for a lead sentence. "The State Fair will wrap up 2012 with rap, and all the language that comes with the genre," Walsh writes in the story, which has since been taken down, but we have screen-capped below:
Raunchy_Rappers_Star_Tribune.jpg

All of the language? Although this statement does not specifically bring the supposed raunchy (defined as lewd or obscene) nature of these rappers into question, did Walsh obtain a pre-approved set list from both Khalifa and Mac Miller and spend hours dipping into their lyrics to make sure that every expression, every slang term, and every word that could be deemed "rap" would be a part of the performance? Incidentally, I saw him perform last year, and it went off without a whole lot of raunch.
Mac_Miller_Soundset_Denis_Jeong_Plaster.jpg
Photo by Denis Jeong Plaster
Mac Miller at Soundset 2011.

Since there's no specific reference to any of the lyrics that "are at times downright raunchy" or any song titles in Walsh's story, it's hard to believe that he did any substantial research on either rapper. If one were to describe the artistry and personal character of Wiz Khalifa, the association would most likely be to his proclivity for smoking copious amounts of marijuana (and two arrests for possession in the past couple weeks more than confirm that fact), and a song like "Ink My Whole Body" affirms his commitment to obtaining lots of tattoos. Both he and his Pittsburgh contemporary Mac Miller drop their fair share of f-bombs, but their subject matter is overwhelmingly focused on working hard and partying even harder. It may not be G-rated, but it's not lewd.



Singling out these guys as raunchy on a State Fair bill that also includes Motley Crue drummer -- and sex tape alum -- Tommy Lee, or the lascivious tongue-wagging of Kiss bassist Gene Simmons is absurd. Journey guitarist Neal Schon's recent, and highly public cuckolding of Real Housewives of D.C. alum Michaele Salahi doesn't make him the most wholesome performer either. (Also, calling '80s R&B star Anita Baker a "bluesy songstress in the same article is pushing it a bit too.)


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16 comments
Jack
Jack

Maybe the Star Tribune should write an article about how the City Pages doesn't know what cuckolding means? 

Cbats
Cbats

That Star Tribune headline reads like something Reed would write.

Bianca
Bianca

Obviously people are afraid this is going to turn into another "race riot" like Milwaukee. GOD FORBID THE RAP MUSIC WINS.

R2
R2

thanks Reed, keep calling people out when you see it.. you are the best music journalist I have seen around here in a while  (also the first time in a while I have used that term instead of "writer")

all mpls writers..don't settle for discrimination (and since we're on the topic.. heavy bias) no matter the music.

Nick Davis
Nick Davis

While I agree with the majority of your article that Walsh made unfair assessments of these artists, the paragraph about his recent stories is unnecessary and irrelevant.  He is only reporting upon gory or lewd events, something that goes along with being a journalist.  Your article lost some credibility with this ad hominem attack.  Otherwise well done.

anonymous
anonymous

Looks like Star Trib already took the ridiculous article down.

Guy T. Gardner
Guy T. Gardner

Paul Walsh: "But it really needs to be in there."Editor: "Just don't have the space. We need to cut it off for the ad."Paul Walsh: "But then people will think I'm out of touch."Editor: "Do you want the article or not?" /rollseyes

Original: The State Fair will wrap up 2012 with rap, and while I’m not racist, all the language that comes with the genre.

Jen Boyles
Jen Boyles

I haven't heard the word "raunchy" used in a serious way in quite some time. Bravo! : /

Decievious Leroy Johnston Jr.
Decievious Leroy Johnston Jr.

Nah, it won't turn into a race riot.....but there will definitely be at least one stabbing and/or shooting.  Let's start making bets now.  I'm putting $5 on a stabbing. 

Decievious Leroy Johnston Jr.
Decievious Leroy Johnston Jr.

I was going to say.  Whenever rap "music" is played at large venues here in Minneapolis, at least one person always gets stabbed.  

Reed Fischer
Reed Fischer

Screen-capped it just in case that might happen.

urbanite
urbanite

@Decievious Leroy Johnston Jr. I hope YOU get stabbed

urbanite
urbanite

@Decievious Leroy Johnston Jr. while we are making crazy generalizations, Ill throw in that every time someone plays screamo music it starts a riot. makes about as much sense as what you said... 30,000 people just went to see a rap concert in Shakopee yesterday and nobody got stabbed. Get off your damn high horse

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