— The Source Magazine (@THESOURCE) September 12, 2014
Wiz Khalifa burst onto the scene in 2010 when his Kush & OJ mixtape, for all intents and purposes, broke the internet. Now, four years later, we find the Pittsburgh native at the top of his game, ending the summer strong with a smash hit (“We Dem Boyz”), his first #1 album (Blacc Hollywood), and a highly successful tour (Under The Influence Of Music). However, Wiz is much more than just a “weed rapper”, he’s now a full-blown rockstar, and there are very few in the culture that can claim to have reached his level of star power, appeal and marketability, especially in such a short time. He’s got two families to commandeer–his Taylor Gang imprint, consisting of Juicy J, Ty Dolla $ign, Chevy Woods and more, and of course his wife Amber Rose, and his son Sebastian–and a city on his shoulders, yet Wiz seems to be able to do everything except buckle under the pressure. So, when he exclaims, “We dem boyz/We makin’ noise, hol’ up!” on his hit single, he really means it.
That being said, Wiz Khalifa is as “power” as Power 30 gets. Our cover asks, “Is This The Top?”, and it’s a legitimate question. There isn’t much he can’t do, and as we enter the age of rappers becoming mega-stars and transcending just being popular on Hip-Hop radio, Wiz Khalifa has certainly inserted himself in the superstar conversation. The ultimate question is, “what comes next?” He’s here to tell us in an exclusive interview with The Source/SOURCE360 Chairman L. Londell McMillan, as he takes a break from his insanely hectic schedule–trust us, we know–to talk about everything from being a father and being one of the best live performers on the planet, to how he plans to handle the next phase of his career and being inspired by “everything that’s moving and living.”
The Power 30/SOURCE360 issue also marks a great time for The Source, as we prep for The SOURCE360 Weekend (Sept. 19-21), which will be 3 days jam packed with panels, showcases, expos and our SOURCE360 Concert at The Barclays Center. It’ll be a 100% total Hip-Hop culture experience that you just can’t miss, and we invite you to have a look at the full details including ticket pricing, info, and a SOURCE360 program schedule on www.source360.com. In addition to that, we have our annualPower 30, Digital 30 and Radio 30 lists that break down the top 30 movers and shakers in Hip-Hop, from rappers-slash-execs to leaders from every facet of the culture. It is an exciting time for everyone, and issue #263 has something for everyone.
On balancing his career and being a father:
The hardest part is being away from my son at any point in time. I want to spend all day with him, all night, I want to wake up with him, feed him, teach him everything, it’s just not humanly possible.
On what it’s like going to a Wiz Khalifa show:
Yea I feel like it’s spiritual for anybody to come to my show or any event in general, I want my experience to be for people to come and just release and have a great time, more of a great time than they expected to have. The people that are around the music that you hear, the smell..that everything is real specific. I like to keep those things around and in order and make sure that they’re all right and everyone gets the experience that they’re supposed to have. Not just the music, but the lifestyle and yeah.
On Cam’ron, Eminem’s The Source cover:
My favorite rapper of all time is Cam’ron. And one of my favorite Source covers is the one with Eminem, where I think he had a chainsaw or something in his hands, but I remember being able to see a tattoo on his arm, that was really, really detailed well. And that was maybe in ’99 or 2000.
On his musical inspirations:
I remember like Bob Marley, he listened to a lot of Prince, he really listened to everything my dad’s music was like a wide range, all the hits all the classics. He still puts me onto stuff, I mean when I was doing Kush & Orange Juice the reason I did David Ruffin for the cover was because of my dad. I mean I knew The Temptations, everyone knows The Temptations but my dad had really showed me David Ruffin’s solo career, and the stuff he was doing, we sat down and we listened to those records and it was just like a spiritual thing, and I was able to like put that on to the world as well.
Be sure to pick up your copy of the 2014 Power 30/SOURCE360 issues when it hits newsstands, coming soon, and get ready for the #SOURCE360, coming to brooklyn next weekend.