Wiz Khalifa contains multitudes. This isn’t news to longtime fans—nor is it, in regard to public perception, an actual concern of his—but one listen to the Pittsburgh-hailing MC’s Multiverse and you’re bound to come away knowing something about Wiz that you didn’t before. “For this project, it was important for me to kind of break free of anybody’s expectations or speculations or what the next project would sound like,” he tells Apple Music. “It was real important for me to not think about that and just have as much creative freedom to do whatever and be whoever and sound however and let that kind of dictate what normal is for me right now.” The ‘“normal” Wiz exposes us to in Multiverse isn’t that far removed from the one Wiz has shown us throughout his career. He is still very much a dedicated stoner, doting father, and irrepressible chick-magnet. But he’s also an MC who is proudly the sum of his influences, one whose artistic practice is steeped in self-love and acceptance, one who’s been traumatized by losing a bevy of friends and an older brother, and one who, by album’s end, will have let the world know how important God is in his life. Though Multiverse is clearly an album centered in connection, to get there Khalifa says he actually had to disconnect. “While I was creating it, I felt like I had to separate myself from everything that was going on and create my own world,” he says. “And while creating that world, I was able to travel through it and find things about myself that are able to help other people who are like-minded. And I felt like it was a world worth inviting a bunch of those people to.” Below, Wiz talks us through some of the key tracks that make up the world he’s calling Multiverse. “Big Daddy Wiz” (feat. Girl Talk) “Girl Talk is one of my favorite producers to work with because his sound is so identifiable to Pittsburgh; he could take some funk music or he could take pop music and give it really, really hard drums and then use my voice over there to just bring it all together and make it make sense. And when I heard the ‘Big Daddy Wiz’ beat, I automatically understood the sample—it’s an old Big Daddy Kane sample and it’s been sampled other places, too. So, I was like, how can I supe this up and make this casual for 2022. My idea was just to construct a really grown-man sound—something mature, something that’s fun, but something that is classy.” “Memory Lane” “A goal of mine was to let go of the typical structure that people have. It’s three verses, so that’s like a real rap song. I grew up in the ‘verse, hook, verse, hook, bridge, hook, out,’ you know what I mean? That was the formula. But songs have been shaved down. So, I just really wanted to give people the option to sit down and listen to a full song. A lot of people are going to be getting stoned to my music. You need more minutes for that experience. Like ‘Memory Lane’ could have been one verse or two verses or had a feature on it, but it ended up taking the whole summer to complete just because it was that type of record.” “1000 Women” (feat. THEY.) “So, the majority of ‘1000 Women’ comes from the hook part, Drew Love [of THEY.]. We wrote this song, and it had a totally different context to it, but I loved Drew’s hook and what he was saying, and the part that stuck out to me the most was like, ‘No matter what I say, all the things I hide inside, everything I go through—it’s only you.’ So, I was thinking, you can’t hide from certain people in this world and in this life, and those are your loved ones and your natural self. And to me, those are two of the most important people to put the most energy into, especially right now. If you’re not treating yourself good, or if you’re not spreading the knowledge, then you’re not really doing too much.” “Like You (Groove 3)” “During the recording process of making the album, that school shooting happened down in Uvalde, Texas, and that shit just hurt my heart so bad, man. I take my son to school every day, and I couldn’t imagine taking him to school and not being able to pick him up. So, ‘Like You’ was just me being empathetic and sharing my pain and trying to get some healing and some clarity for those people who go through things like that. And I listened to Marvin Gaye and things like that, and that was one of his most important messages on the What’s Going On album: ‘Save the babies.’” “High Maintenance” “Sometimes you just catch a wave. I did the first two verses and the hook one night, and I always envisioned who else could be on the song. So, I was thinking about a feature, but the feature didn’t come through. So, I’m like, what’s the best way for me to really crush this? And the first thing I thought about was, ‘Might go Cam on them and just pull up in the Lam.’ And then I was like, ‘Ooh, that’s hard. I might as well finish the whole verse like that.’ My Rolodex of, like, inspirations and influences is crazy. Like, people don’t even know I listen to the type of music that I listen to, or that I’m as knowledgeable about the MCs that I am. But everybody that I mentioned, I’ve done plenty of homework on. When I said it, I meant it.” “We Don’t Go Out to Nightclubs Anymore/Candlelight Girl” “My band is amazing. I’ve always wanted to incorporate Kenny [Wright] and CJ [Branch] and Mike [Nelson]. And this was, like, my opportunity to say something without actually saying any words. And it ended up being eight minutes, and I wasn’t mad at it at all. Like I said, I’m giving people the option to sit down and enjoy some shit. And that’s the perfect opportunity to—whether it’s reflect or roll up or make out with your girl, it gives you the perfect intermission to an already exciting ride. And musically, a lot of people, they’re into that type of stuff, they just don’t know it. And I’m going to help program people into understanding that’s what their body needs and shit like that.” “Homies” “My main thing is to get the feeling out. And so, when I heard the beat, the first thing I did was write the first verse about the dead homies because that was something that was in a conversation that I had with somebody. And I didn’t realize how traumatizing that shit was. Like, I was just talking about it like it was normal, and this motherfucker was looking at me like I was crazy. But then the poem came because—a lot of people don’t know—my brother passed away four years ago. And just dealing with that, like not covering it up or acting like it’s not something that helps me throughout my day, my life, or everything—that was just my idea behind using the poem dedicated to him, to just keep him a part of my story. And I tied it up with the real homies at the end. And the song is called ‘Homies’ because that’s, like, a way in Pittsburgh that people swear [down]. Like the way people say, ‘Oh, God’ or ‘I swear to God,’ [in Pittsburgh] it’ll be like, ‘Homies.’” “Nobody Knows” “These types of songs, I like putting them on my albums just because one of my favorite songs is ‘You Can Never Feel My Pain’ by Prodigy, a song where you can kind of envision the story of that individual or whatever they’re telling you. And that’s kind of how ‘Nobody Knows’ was for me. I was just feeling a few things. So, it was easier for me to write it down or just say it and sing it. And then, for the hook, it’s kind of like a healing of those things that you go through and an understanding, and you just got to get that shit out. So, I feel like it’s really, really important for me to always tap in and tell real stories that people can still learn about me from.” “Thank Him” “I love God. I thank God every day. I praise God every day. And me just getting older, I felt like I never really made a song that was dedicated to Him. I made a song about weed. I made songs about women. I made songs about my kid. I made songs about my car. It’s like, let me make a song about my other favorite guy. And hell yeah, He’s that man. He deserve it.”

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