Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa

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About Wiz Khalifa

Some rappers want to take over the world; Wiz Khalifa just wants to meet girls, get money, and smoke as much weed as his constitution will allow. From the beginning, there was something low-key and effortless about him, a joie de vivre that made his music—“No Sleep,” “Work Hard, Play Hard,” “Mezmorized”—feel like a party. Or, as he put it on “Black and Yellow,” “Get fly and take trips and that’s that—real rap.” A military kid, Khalifa (born Cameron Thomaz in 1987) spent most of his childhood bouncing around before settling in Pittsburgh. He started releasing mixtapes around 2005, racking up an increasingly high-profile set of features before breaking through with 2011’s Rolling Papers. From the beginning, Khalifa seemed indifferent to genre, mixing hip-hop with hints of club music and the anthemic quality of great pop—a flexibility that made him as likely to show up on a Maroon 5 track as a Chief Keef one. (It’s worth noting that some of his biggest tracks were produced by Stargate, benny blanco, and the Bruno Mars team The Smeezingtons—pop producers, not rap ones.) After reaching a pop peak with his 2015 Charlie Puth collaboration, “See You Again,” Khalifa scaled things back, releasing a sequel to Rolling Papers and a breezy collaboration with New Orleans rapper Curren$y (2009), followed by The Saga of Wiz Khalifa in 2020.

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