Upon first look, it may seem like rapper Wiz Khalifa is destined to have one of those one-hit wonder, overnight success stories. But don’t be fooled.
His success has been a long time coming and he’s not ready to take it easy just yet. The chart-topping anthem “Black and Yellow” was just the tip of the iceberg. Wiz Khalifa is on the verge of cementing himself as a heavy-hitter in the rap game.Becoming a music industry breakthrough has been a five-year battle for the now 23-year-old Pittsburg native. He released his first mixtape in 2005 while in high school. A year later Rolling Stone magazine dubbed him an “Artist To Watch.” At 18-years-old this title helped gain him recognition and soon enough Warner Records came knocking at his door. In 2009, Wiz ended up parting ways with the label after numerous delays in the release of his debut studio album. Despite this hitch, it didn’t stop him from making music and most importantly creating a relationship with his fans.”I had a major deal before but they liked me for the wrong reasons,” explained Wiz during his visit to 997 NOW. “So I just went back and did the real stuff, made myself happy, gained a huge fan base and went back at it.”
He definitely put his head back into the game, creating major buzz for himself through the release of eight mixtapes on the Internet where he sampled everyone from Drake and Beyonce to indie-electro favorites Empire Of The Sun. ”It’s a huge platform to get new fans… and it’s free!” says the rapper. “I was able with the Internet do promotion that major labels spend millions and millions of dollars to do.”In April 2010, when he signed a deal with Atlantic Records, Wiz was more than ready to get the ball rolling on his major label debut. But even he wasn’t expecting everything to fall into place so quickly. “I didn’t expect my record to sell 2.7 million just off the bat,” says the rapper of his ode to the Pittsburg Steelers, “Black & Yellow.”With a newly released second single “Roll Up,” Wiz has his eyes focused on continued growth and success. ”We’re going nuts as far as the single goes… we’re still going, we’re still maximizing.” His album Rolling Papers is set for release on March 29th.