Khalifa performing Under the Influence of Music Tour 2012 in Toronto.
|Birth name||Cameron Jibril Thomaz|
September 8, 1987 |
Minot, North Dakota, United States
|Origin||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip hop, pop|
|Occupations||Rapper, singer, actor|
|Labels||Rostrum Records (2005-present)
Taylor Gang (2006-present)
Warner Bros. Records (2007-2009)
Atlantic Records (2010-present)
|Associated acts||Big Sean, Chevy Woods, Curren$y, Juicy J, Mac Miller, Snoop Dogg, Yelawolf|
Cameron Jibril Thomaz (born September 8, 1987), better known by the stage name Wiz Khalifa, is an American rapper. He released his debut album, Show and Prove, in 2006, and signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2007. His Eurodance-influenced single, "Say Yeah", received urban radio airplay, charting on the Rhythmic Top 40 and Hot Rap Tracks charts in 2008.
Khalifa parted with Warner Bros. and released his second album, Deal or No Deal, in November 2009. He released the mixtape Kush and Orange Juice as a free download in April 2010; he then signed with Atlantic Records. He is also well known for his debut single for Atlantic, "Black and Yellow", which peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. His debut album for the label, Rolling Papers, was released on March 29, 2011. He followed that album with O.N.I.F.C. on December 4, 2012 which was backed by the single Work Hard, Play Hard.
Khalifa was born in Minot, North Dakota on September 8, 1987 to a mother and a father serving in the military. His parents divorced when Khalifa was about three years old. His parents' military service caused him to move regularly. Khalifa lived in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan before settling in Pittsburgh where he attended Taylor Allderdice High School.
His stage name is derived from Khalifa, an Arabic word meaning "successor", and wisdom, which was shortened to Wiz when Khalifa was a young boy. Khalifa stated to spinner.com that the name also came from being called "young Wiz 'cause I was good at everything I did, and my granddad is Muslim, so he gave me that name; he felt like that's what I was doing with my music." He got a tattoo of his stage name on his 17th birthday. He cites Jimi Hendrix, Camp Lo, The Notorious B.I.G. and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony as musical influences.
2005–08: Early mixtapes and Show and Prove
Rostrum Records president Benjy Grinberg first heard about Wiz Khalifa in 2004 when the rapper's contribution to a mixtape of various new Pittsburgh artists attracted his interest. When Grinberg finally met the 16-year-old artist, he immediately decided he wanted to work with him, later telling HitQuarters: "Even though he wasn’t all the way developed you could just tell that he was a diamond in the rough, and that with some polishing, guidance and backing he could become something special." Khalifa signed to the label shortly after and began a seven-year period of artist development.
Khalifa released his first mixtape, Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania, in 2005. The mixtape paved the way for his first full length album entitled Show and Prove in 2006. Khalifa was declared an "artist to watch" that year in Rolling Stone magazine.
In 2007, Khalifa signed to Warner Bros. Records and released two mixtapes through Rostrum Records: Grow Season, hosted by DJ Green Lantern and released on July 4, 2007, and Prince of the City 2, released on November 20, 2007. His debut Warner Bros. single "Say Yeah" reached number 25 on the Billboard Rhythmic Top 40 music chart and number 20 on Billboard's Hot Rap Tracks. The song samples "Better Off Alone" by Alice Deejay. Khalifa's vocals from "Say Yeah" appear near the end of Pittsburgh mash up producer Girl Talk's 2008 album, Feed the Animals, over music from Underworld's "Born Slippy", Usher's "Love in This Club", and the Cure's "In Between Days". Khalifa appeared with The Game, David Banner and Play-n-Skillz at U92's Summer Jam at the USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City, Utah on August 2, 2008. Khalifa released the mixtapes Star Power in September 2008, and Flight School in April 2009 on Rostrum Records.
Khalifa parted ways with Warner Bros. Records in July 2009 after numerous delays in releasing his planned debut album for the label, First Flight. Khalifa stated to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that, "I learned a lot during my time there and matured as an artist during the process. I'm happy to be moving on with all of my material and having the chance to be in control of my next moves". Khalifa appeared with Girl Talk, Modey Lemon, Donora, Grand Buffet, and Don Caballero at the Amphitheatre at Station Square in Pittsburgh on July 31, 2009, where he announced that his relationship with Warner Bros. was over.
2009–10: Deal or No Deal and signing with Atlantic Records
Continuing his association with Rostrum Records, Khalifa released the single "Teach U to Fly", and the mixtape How Fly, a collaboration with New Orleans rapper Curren$y, on August 9, 2009. Khalifa introduced a more melodic style on the mixtape, alternating between singing and rapping. He opened for Wu-Tang Clan member U-God at the 2009 CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. Khalifa released the mixtape Burn After Rolling on November 2, 2009, where he raps over familiar beats from other artists, including the songs "If I Were A Boy" and "Diva" by Beyoncé, "Walking on a Dream" by Empire of the Sun, "Luchini AKA This Is It" by Camp Lo, and "Best I Ever Had" by Drake. Khalifa released his second album, Deal or No Deal, on November 24, 2009.
Khalifa performed at Emo's in Austin, Texas in March 2010 as part of the 2010 South by Southwest Music Festival. He appeared on the cover of XXL magazine that same month, for the magazine's annual list of Top 10 Freshman, which included Donnis, J. Cole, Pill, Freddie Gibbs, and Fashawn. Wiz Khalifa was named 2010 "Rookie Of The Year" by "The Source", with alongside Rick Ross, "The Man Of The Year". He toured with rapper Yelawolf on a 20-date tour, the Deal Or No Deal Tour. Khalifa released the free mixtape Kush and Orange Juice for download on June 14, 2010. Due to Khalifa's devoted grassroots fan base, the mixtape became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter with the hash tag #kushandorangejuice, and "Kush and Orange Juice download” ranked No. 1 on Google’s hot search trends.
Citing music industry insiders, New York magazine wrote that Khalifa signed with Atlantic Records in April 2010, although the rapper did not confirm it. He stated to AllHipHop in June 2010 that he was working on a new album, but was weighing his options and had not yet decided on a label to distribute it. Khalifa confirmed to MTV on July 30 that he was signing an Atlantic Records deal.
Khalifa was featured in a remix and video for the 2010 Rick Ross single "Super High", alongside Curren$y. He guested on the mixtape Grey Goose, Head Phones, and Thirsty Women by St. Louis rapper M.C, and was featured on the track "The Breeze (Cool)" on rapper Wale's August 2010 mixtape More About Nothing. Khalifa was named MTV's Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010, winning with nearly 70,000 votes, and beating out finalists Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, Travis Porter, and Diggy Simmons.
Khalifa appeared at the Soundset 2010 festival in May 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, alongside Method Man & Redman, Del the Funky Homosapien and Hieroglyphics, Atmosphere, Murs, Cage, and others. He also performed at the 2010 Rock the Bells festival, along with hip hop veterans Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, Lauryn Hill, A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, KRS-One, Jedi Mind Tricks and Slick Rick. Khalifa declined an invitation to tour with rapper Drake and launched his own "Waken Baken" tour, a 50-city national tour with rapper Yelawolf. His official DJ on the tour was DJ Bonics.
The tour, scheduled to last from September to November 2010, has, as of October, sold out every venue. On November 2010, during his "Waken Baken" tour at East Carolina University, Wiz Khalifa was arrested for possession and trafficking of marijuana. He was then released the next morning after a $300K bail, and resumed his tour. Khalifa performed in a cypher during the 2010 BET Hip-Hop Awards. He recited his verse from the song, "The Check Point", from his mixtape with Curren$y, How Fly.
2010–12: Mainstream success, Rolling Papers and O.N.I.F.C
Khalifa released "Black and Yellow", his first single for Rostrum/Atlantic, produced by Stargate, which has received radio airplay. The single was peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100; the title of the song refers to the colours of the City of Pittsburgh. Khalifa released his debut album with Atlantic Records in 2011. He appeared with Curren$y on the track "Scaling the Building" on producer Ski Beatz' 2010 album, 24 Hour Karate School. Khalifa's record label, Taylor Gang Records, is named after his love of Chuck Taylor All-Stars and his alma mater, Taylor Allderdice High School.
On March 29, 2011, Khalifa released his first studio album, Rolling Papers. The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 197,000 copies in the United States. Shortly afterward on March 31, 2011 Wiz Khalifa performed at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia as part of the school's annual Dooley's Weekend. On June 26, 2011, Khalifa was nominated and won Best New Artist at the BET Awards of 2011. Khalifa collaborated with British rapper Tinie Tempah whom Tinie announced in an interview with Rolling Stone that his next single is to be called "Till I'm Gone" and would feature Wiz Khalifa and is to be produced by Stargate. The single and the video song were released at the end of June 2011.
On April 11, 2012 Khalifa announced that he will release his second studio album titled "Only Nigga In First Class" but will be released to mainstream markets as the abbreviated O.N.I.F.C. O.N.I.F.C. debuted at #2 with 131,000 in first week sales. The album has spawned two singles "Work Hard, Play Hard" and "Remember You" both receiving good commercial acclaim and with the former going platinum. Wiz has also recently talked to rapper 50 Cent, who he collaborated with on the song "Telescope", about making a movie together.
2013-present: Fifth studio album
In April, 2013 Khalifa revealed that after having his son he decided to work on a new album that he is planning to release in 2013. On April 17 Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y announced that they will drop their collaboration EP Live in Concert on April 20, 2013. The EP featured seven new songs.
Pittsburgh City Council declared 12-12-12 (December 12, 2012) to be Wiz Khalifa Day in the city. Khalifa graduated from Pittsburgh's Taylor Allderdice High School and in January 2012 purchased a home in nearby Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
He is an avid supporter and big fan of all sports teams from his town, mostly the Pittsburgh Steelers, and many others like NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, MLB's Pittsburgh Pirates, Arena Football League's Pittsburgh Power, and also the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks.
- Studio albums
- Collaborative albums
- Mac & Devin Go to High School (with Snoop Dogg) (2011)
- Live In Concert (with Curren$y) (2013)
- TBA (with Snoop Dogg) (2013)
- TBA (with Taylor Gang) (2013)
|2012||Gangs of Roses 2: Next Generation||Timmy|
|Mac & Devin Go to High School||Devin|
|2013||High School 2||Devin|
|2011||Late Show with David Letterman||Himself||Musical Guest|
|Jimmy Kimmel Live!|
|Late Night with Jimmy Fallon|
|2012||Master of the Mix||Special Guest Star; episode: Final Challenge|
|Punk'd||Season 9, episode 12|
|This Is How I Made It||Season 1, episode 9|
|2012||Ridiculousness (TV series)||Himself||Season 2, episode 11|
Awards and nominations
|2011||Wiz Khalifa||Sprint New Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|2011||"Wiz Khalifa"||Best New Artist||Won|
|2012||"Wiz Khalifa"||Top New Artist||Won|
|Top Rap Artist||Nominated|
|2012||"Black and Yellow"||Best Rap Performance||Nominated|
|Best Rap Song||Nominated|
|2013||"Payphone" (with Maroon 5)||Best Pop Duo/Group Performance||Nominated|
|"Young, Wild & Free" (with Snoop Dogg featuring Bruno Mars)||Best Rap Song||Nominated|
|2011||"Wiz Khalifa"||Best New Act||Nominated|
|Best Push Act||Nominated|
|2011||"Black and Yellow"||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|2012||"Payphone" (with Maroon 5)||Best Pop Video||Nominated|
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- Burger, David (August 1, 2008). "U92's Summer Jam: Rap producers get a chance to shine ". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved on August 2, 2008.
- Mervis, Scott (July 18, 2009). "Wiz Khalifa, Warner Bros. part ways". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved on July 18, 2009.
- Tady, Scott (August 1, 2009). "A new wave hits Pittsburgh music". Beaver County Times. Retrieved on August 2, 2009.
- Falkowski, Jamie (October 15, 2009). "CMJ ’09: Wiz Khalifa". Time Out New York, Issue 733. Retrieved on October 19, 2009.
- McCray, Mike (November 3, 2009). "Mixtape Review: Wiz Khalifa". Creative Loafing Charlotte. Retrieved on November 8, 2009.
- Todd, Deborah M. (November 26, 2009). "Rapper Wiz Khalifa drops 'Deal or No Deal' after frustrating time with Warner Bros.". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved on November 27, 2009.
- Freedman, Pete (March 25, 2010). "It's Good To Make Time For A Bro, Even After SXSW and NX35.". Dallas Observer. Retrieved on April 14, 2010.
- Rick Ross Named The Source's Man Of The Year
- Noz, Andrew (March 29, 2010). "Review: Wiz Khalifa & Yelawolf @ 9:30 Club". Washington City Paper. Retrieved on April 14, 2010.
- Vozick-Levinson, Simon (April 14, 2010). "Wiz Khalifa's 'Kush and Orange Juice' mixtape blows up". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on April 14, 2010.
- Ramirez, Erika (May 4, 2010). "Hip-Hop’s New Business Model: Major-Label Rappers Stay ‘Independent’". New York. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
- Crates, Jake (June 22, 2010). "Wiz Khalifa Sells Out Tour; Talks New Project". AllHipHop. Retrieved on June 26, 2010.
- Ziegbe, Mawuse; Calloway, Sway (July 30, 2010). "Wiz Khalifa Was Working On Atlantic Deal 'For A Minute'" MTV. Retrieved on August 23, 2010.
- Reid, Shaheem (July 9, 2010). "Wiz Khalifa Calls Rick Ross' 'Super High' Remix 'A Blessing'". MTV. Retrieved on September 5, 2010.
- Johnson, Kevin. J. (June 24, 2010). "Rapper M.C. grabs attention on new mixtape". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved on June 26, 2010.
- McCray, Mike (August 17, 2010). "Mixtape Review: Wale’s More About Nothing". Creative Loafing Charlotte. Retrieved on August 20, 2010.
- MTV News staff (July 25, 2010). "Wiz Khalifa Is MTV News' 'Hottest Breakthrough MC Of 2010'!". Retrieved on August 11, 2010.
- Riemensheider, Chris (May 27, 2010). "A different atmosphere at Rhymesayers". Star Tribune. Retrieved on September 3, 2010.
- Humphress, Corey (May 27, 2010). "Wu-Tang Clan, Rakim, More to Perform Full Albums at Rock the Bells 2010". Paste. Retrieved on June 2, 2010.
- Barley, Nicole (17 September 2010). "Free Style". Whirl Magazine. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- BET Hip Hop Awards 2010 Cypher No.1 (Wiz Khalifa, Bones, YeloWolf & Raekwon)
- Mervis, Scott (September 2, 2010). "Local Scene: 09/02/10". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved on September 5, 2010.
- Lipshutz, Jason (October 13, 2010). "Wiz Khalifa's "Black & Yellow" And Four Other Hot Football Fight Songs". Billboard. Retrieved on October 15, 2010.
- Todd, Deborah M. (September 7, 2010). "Rising hip-hop stars call Pittsburgh home". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved on September 8, 2010.
- Feldman, Nick (September 22, 2010). "Legendary Producer Ski Beatz Proves He Hasn't Missed a Beat with 24 Hour Karate School". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved on October 5, 2010.
- Caulfield, Keith (April 6, 2011). "Britney Spears Snares Sixth No. 1 on Billboard 200 with 'Femme Fatale'". Billboard. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
- "Wiz Khalifa at Emory".
- "Best New Artist". BET. Retrieved 2011-11-21. Text " BET Awards " ignored (help); Text " Shows " ignored (help); Text " BET " ignored (help)
- Tinie Tempah is Optimistic About Breaking Through in the U.S by Matthew Perpetua on 18 April 2011. RollingStone.com.
- Tinie Tempah announces new single on RollingStone.com on TinieTempah.com. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- First Look: Tinie Tempah feat Wiz Khalifa. playforlife.fm. Retrieved on July 1, 2011.
- Markman, Rob (2011-09-09). "Wiz Khalifa Already 'Working On' Rolling Papers Follow-Up - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
- John Woodruff (2011-10-09). "Wiz Khalifa begins work on new album". TheCelebrityCafe.com. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
- HITS Daily Double: News
- Wiz Khalifa Talks Possible Movie & Soundtrack With 50 Cent [Video] | XXL
- "Wiz Khalifa On Twitter". Twitter.com. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
- Christie D'Zurilla (2012-03-02). "Amber Rose, Wiz Khalifa engaged; 'Love Is Everywhere'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
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- Dayton, Rick (March 28, 12). "Wiz Khalifa Buys Home In Washington County". CBS Pittsburgh.
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