Subtlety is not Taylor Gang’s forté.
This powerful hip-hop collective from Pittsburgh makes no mistake about what they stand for. The packed crowd on the floor at Chafeitz Arena watched smoke rise from a massive, winged bong in the center of the stage, which perfectly exemplified Taylor Gang’s individuality.
Wiz Khalifa, founder of Taylor Gang, keeps his loving relationship with cannabis very public and knows many Taylor Gang followers share his love. But the Taylor Gang movement is about much more than weed.
On stage, Khalifa thanked his supporters and addressed the Taylor movement as such: “It’s about doin’ you. It’s about being who you are and enjoyin’ life.”
Though one may not approve of Taylor Gang’s methods, the movement’s core values are hard to disagree with. Smile, be happy, love life . . . who wouldn’t want that motto?
Khalifa and the Taylor Gang derived their name from two sources: the Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers Khalifa came to be known for and Taylor Allderdice High School, the group’s alma mater in Pittsburgh.
Staying true to his roots on this 2050 Tour, Khalifa had Taylor Gang artists Tuki Carter, Berner, Lola Monroe, Chevy Woods and Juicy J warm up the stage for him. Each opening act was incredibly impressive; Taylor Gang has shown the world that Pittsburgh is the epicenter of new wave hip-hop.
After five openers, Khalifa finally graced the stage with his presence. This man exudes confidence. He’s no newbie to the art of stage performance and definitely knows how to get a crowd going. Khalifa came out with a set list beyond expectations. He likes to provide his audience with a wide variety of tracks, traversing different stages in his musical career. Songs fluctuated from mainstream radio hits such as “Young, Wild and Free” to thumping party anthems like “On My Level” and stoner jams like “Still Blazin.”
Taylor Gang faithfuls range from ratchet club-hoppers to focused honor students; Khalifa loves to break boundaries. That’s the beauty of Khalifa. He brings together people from all walks of society. Though the people may be different, they all share a love for his music. With several Grammy nominations, an American Music Award and the title of Billboard’s Best New Artist, Khalifa isn’t an “underground” rapper anymore.
A new album is currently in the works, and after the success of his debut album, “Rolling Papers,” this upcoming album is much anticipated.
Khalifa revolutionizes his sound with each new mixed-tape and album, from the deep electronic beats of “Flight School” to the styling of “Cabin Fever 2.” Hardcore fans can’t wait to hear what’s next.
Some may love it, or some may hate it at first, but most fans are guaranteed to grow to like it. Khalifa’s sounds are, after all, infectious.