Who is Wiz Khalifa?
Wiz Khalifa is a well-known American rapper, singer, and songwriter. He has been active in the music industry since his debut in 2006. He is known for his hip-hop songs and occasional work as an actor. He has been associated with ‘Warner Bros. Records,’ ‘Atlantic Records,’ ‘Taylor Gang,’ and ‘Rostrum Records.’ He gained a lot of attention with his single number ‘Black and Yellow’ which was his first song for the ‘Atlantic Records.’ His most famous song ‘See You Again’ featured in the movie ‘Furious 7.’ The song made it to the top of Billboard’s ‘Hot 100’ list and stayed there for 12 consecutive weeks. He has recorded seven studio albums. He also has a soundtrack album and an extended play under his belt. Along with that, he has also appeared in a couple of films and made guest appearances on several TV Shows. He has won the ‘BET,’ ‘Billboard Music Awards,’ and ‘Teen Choice Awards.’
Childhood & Early Life
Wiz Khalifa was born Cameron Jibril Thomaz on 8 September 1987, in Minot, North Dakota, USA. His parents were in the US military service. Due to the nature of his parents’ job, he had to move constantly during his early childhood. He lived in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan before finally settling down in Pittsburgh. His parents divorced when he was just three years old.
He attended ‘Taylor Allerdice High School’ in Pittsburgh. He was attracted to music at a very young age and started writing his own songs at the age of nine.
He began composing his own lyrics and started singing them. This caught the attention of the locals and earned him decent popularity in Pittsburgh.
Later, he released his first mix tape ‘Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania’ which made him quite famous in Pittsburgh as well as in other places in the country.
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Khalifa’s contribution to the mixtapes of various upcoming artists in Pittsburgh got him some attention from the president of ‘Rostrum Records’ Benjy Grinberg. He thought Khalifa had talent and decided to work with him in order to polish his skills.
After going through training for seven months, Khalifa released his first mix-tape.
This made way for his first album ‘Show and Prove.’ The album was released in 2006.
In 2007, he released two new mixtapes in association with ‘Rostrum Records.’ The mixtapes were ‘Prince of the City 2’ and ‘Grow Season.’ The same year, he also signed with ‘Warner Bros Records.’
His debut single with ‘Warner Bros’ was titled ‘Say Yeah.’ It peaked at 25th position in Billboard’s rhythmic top 40 list.
He released two new mixtapes titled ‘Star Power’ and ‘Flight School’ in 2009.
On 9 August 2009, he released the single ‘Teach U to Fly’ and the mixtape ‘How Fly’ with ‘Rostrum Records.’
In July 2010, he confirmed his association with ‘Atlantic Records.’
He launched his own ‘Waken Baken’ tour, a 50-city national tour with rapper Yelawolf. His official DJ for the tour was DJ Bonics.
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He released his first single ‘Black and Yellow’ for ‘Rostrum/ Atlantic’ in 2010. The single peaked at number one spot on Billboard’s ‘Hot 100’ list.
His first album ‘Rolling Papers’ in association with ‘Atlantic Records’ was released in March 2011. The album reached the second spot in the US Billboard top 200 list.
His next album ‘Only Nigga in First Class,’ which was abbreviated as O.N.I.F.C in mainstream market, was released in April 2012. This album also turned out to be a hit and reached the second spot on Billboard’s list. ‘Work Hard Play Hard’ and ‘Remember You’ were the two singles from the album that became huge hits.
Mannie Fresh-produced ‘Blacc Hollywood’ was his fifth album and it featured songs by Miley Cyrus and Juicy J.
He released the single ‘See You Again’ as a tribute to Paul Walker in ‘Furious 7.’ The song turned out to be a great success and peaked at number one position on Billboard’s ‘Hot 100’ list.
He performed alongside ‘Fall Out Boy’ in ‘Billboard Music Awards’ in 2015. They started touring the USA along with Hoodie Allen. The tour was named ‘The Boys of Zummer Tour.’
He released his album ‘Khalifa’ in 2016.
In 2016, he had controversial fallout with Benjy Grinberg and sued him for $1 million, including punitive charges and attorney fees. They split up after 10 years of successful partnership.
He announced the release of his next album ‘Rolling Papers 2’ after releasing ‘Pull Up,’ a single from the same album. ‘Rolling Papers 2’ was released in 2018.
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Wiz’s first album ‘Show and Prove’ was released by ‘Rostrum Records’ and featured 17 songs. ‘Pittsburgh Sound’ was the most popular song from the album.
His second album ‘Deal or No Deal’ proved to be a better success than the first album. It was promoted by a single titled ‘The Plane.’ The album peaked at 10th position on Billboard’s ‘Top Rap Albums’ list in the US.
His third album ‘Rolling Papers’ proved to be quite a success. ‘Rolling Papers’ created an identity for Wiz Khalifa in the music industry. The album received a double platinum recognition by RIAA. It reached the second spot on Billboard’s top 200 list.
Khalifa’s fourth album also made it to the second spot in Billboard’s list. The album ‘O.N.I.F.C.’ had 17 tracks and sold 148,000 copies in its first week.
His fifth album ‘Blacc Hollywood’ received a gold certification from RIAA. It was also featured in Billboard’s list.
‘Khalifa,’ Wiz’s sixth album, reached the third position in Billboard’s ‘R&B Hip-Hop Album’ list. It was his fourth album release with ‘Atlantic Records.’
Awards & Achievements
In 2006, Wiz was declared an “artist to watch” by ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine.
He was named the ‘Rookie of the Year’ by ‘The Source’ in 2010.
December 12, 2012 was declared ‘Wiz Khalifa Day’ by Pittsburgh City Council.
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Wiz Khalifa won the ‘BET Award’ for ‘Best New Artist’ in 2011.
He received the ‘Billboard Music Award’ for ‘Top New Artist’ in 2012. He also received the same award for ‘Top Hot 100’ song and ‘Top Rap’ song for ‘See You Again’ in 2016.
He won the ‘Teen Choice Award’ for ‘See You Again.’ He won the award under the ‘Choice R&B Hip Hop song’ and ‘Choice song from a Movie or TV Show’ categories in 2015.
Other than these awards, he was also nominated for a number of awards like ‘People’s Choice Award,’ ‘MTV Video Music Awards,’ ‘MTV Europe Music Awards,’ ‘Grammy Awards,’ and ‘American Music Awards.’
He was nominated for a ‘Golden Globe Award’ for the song ‘See You Again’ in 2016.
Personal Life & Legacy
He was arrested in November 2010 for the use and possession of marijuana. However, he was let off on a bail of $300K. This happened during his ‘Waken Baken’ tour.
In 2011, he started dating model Amber Rose and the duo got engaged in 2012.
In 2013, they got married and were blessed with a son named Sebastian Taylor. Khalifa and Rose separated in 2015 after the latter filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences between them. They now share the custody of their son.
He is very open about his use of marijuana and spends around $10,000 every month on it.
His stage name, Wiz Khalifa, is drawn from the Arabic word, Khalifa that means successor and wisdom (Wiz – short).
Wiz’s main inspirational influences are Camp Lo, Jimi Hendrix, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony and The Notorious B.I.G.
He owns a house in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
In May 2017, Khalifa began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with Rigan Machado, an 8th degree red and black belt.
In 2014, the Cookie Company sponsored him his marijuana supplies. It is a medical marijuana dispenser which sells his Khalifa Kush strain, which he partnered with RiverRock Cannabis to create.
Wiz appeared on the cover of ‘Magazine XXL’ for being in the annual list of Top 10 freshman.
Wiz’s free mixtape ‘Kush and Orange Juice’ received so much popularity that it was the number one trending topic on twitter with the hashtag #kushandorangejuice. It was also the most searched word on Google.
Wiz was named MTV’s hottest breakthrough MC of the year in 2010 with nearly 70,000 votes.