Interviews

AUDIO INTERVIEW: Wiz Khalifa

by Marcus K. Dowling

Pittsburgh’s Wiz Khalifa perhaps has one of the best tales of the new industry of hip hop in the 21st century. A mixtape monster, Khalifa spent two solid years consistently turning the underground on its ear until becoming a leading emcee in the game. By 2007, he had a deal with Warner Brothers Records, and by July 2009, he was dropped due to petty squabbling between artist and label. But what didn’t drop off in this man was his talent. Of course, as he has at every stop along his young career, he had a hit while signed, the Johnny Juliano produced, Alice Deejay “Better Off Alone” sampling “Say Yeah,” which made some Billboard noise and definitely left many in the industry and fans alike salivating for more.

More has come in the Rostrum Records released album Deal or No Deal, an album that had such significant buzz that on iTunes, Khalifa’s sales matched those of Jay-Z, and overall placed him on the Billboard 200 Album sales chart on his debut week. Deal or No Deal, indeed. Lead single “This Plane” shows a young man steeled with tons of confidence and with a hungry emcee’s battle tested flow.

I had the opportunity to talk to the Iron City native and catch up with him about his career, mixtapes, latest moves, and yes, discussion of his love and abundance of tattoos, partying with Snoop Dogg, and his appreciation of Puff Daddy, Bone Thugs n Harmony and Pharrell. It’s certainly an eye opening 20 minute interview that shows that with confidence in self, anything is indeed possible.

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