Who says stoners are deadbeats? Wiz Khalifa is contemporary hip-hop’s reigning weed king, but at no cost. The industrious rapper owns his own record label, and has had 14 albums and mixtapes drop over the last eight years. Alongside his massive dedication to music, he also takes on the role of husband to model Amber Rose, and father to their young son, Sebastian. Amongst all this, his fifth studio album Blacc Hollywood has just dropped. As the world’s busiest stoner, Khalifa is evidence that passion and dedication can get you anywhere you want to be.
How have you been doing since the album release?
Very good. Just staying busy.
What do the words ‘Blacc Hollywood’ mean to you?
‘Blacc Hollywood’ is more about coming from nothing or starting at a place where a lot of people don’t understand, and seeing it all the way through and getting the benefits from it.
You once said in an interview that “Blacc Hollywood is aggressive, and fun, and in your face, and it’s way more taking a stand than conforming to what everybody else is doing.” What made you wanna take that stand?
That’s just who I am naturally. And when I made this music, and came up with the ideas for the visuals and the artwork and all of that stuff, it just really really reminded me of my place and the industry and the game. I wanna embrace that.
Did Sebastian have a lot of influence over you in terms of style and writing with Blacc Hollywood?
Nah, I wouldn’t say as far as style and writing. As far as the work I put into it and the sense of urgency and how much I worked on it, and how hard I worked on it… that bit was motivated by my son.
‘Hope’ is one of my favourite tracks on the album, I really love it. Ty Dolla $ign worked on a few of the songs on the album. What makes him stand out against other artists?
He’s just really good as far as writing and keeping it natural, which I really respect. Me and him are really good friends so the topics that we’re able to come up with and make songs about are very loose and fun.
Do you think that you’re very similar people in that way?
I don’t look at myself as being better than Ty. So that respect and that companionship of him being a great teammate – that’s what makes us stronger.
Do you have a favourite track on the album?
Yeah, it changes. Right now my favourite song is ‘No Gain’.
Cabin Fever was pretty successful, and you had 28 Grams come out earlier this year. Does the creative process differ much between making a mixtape and making a studio album?
Yeah, the process is a little different. Just because when we are making the album we have to think about songs that have to have videos, and have to have budgets and things like that. Just a lot more goes into it. The songs have to last, whereas the mixtape is kinda like a hit or miss. If the song gets big or turns crazy then it’s good. If not, no time and nothing is wasted. So that’s really the difference, with a mixtape there’s more risk than with an album.
So the album is kinda for an audience but the mixtape is for you?
Nah, I feel like the mixtapes are for my audience. The albums are just for my career and for the music business in general, and for other people’s careers.
How has your creative process changed generally since Show and Prove?
I feel like I’ve probably got to the point where I’m at now, around the time that I did Kush and Orange Juice and Rolling Papers, and it hasn’t really changed much since then. To where I just make sure I’m really really free with my music and how I choose beats, and I’m really just open.
You worked with Snoop on Blacc Hollywood and you’re filming Mac and Devin Go to High School Part 2 with him pretty soon. You guys seem to have a pretty real relationship, even outside of music. How did that relationship start?
It started just by him hitting me up, telling me he’s a fan of my music. I flew out to LA; of course, we smoked. That’s when we started coming up with ideas and thinking about things that made money, and we’re still coming up with great ideas all the time just because he’s such a cool dude. He’s so willing to offer knowledge and, of course I take it.
Do you learn a lot from each other?
Yeah we do, totally.
What’s the most important thing you learnt from him?
I’m learning how to just make everything in my mind come straight out, right away without wasting any time, and without hesitating. Because he always let’s me know, “We know what we’re doing, we got this.” So all you gotta do is put your feet to the pavement and then it’s gonna happen.
You’re covered in tattoos. Do you have a favourite one?
Yeah, the one the means the most to me is definitely my son’s name. But I got a lot of different favourites.
I heard that Tuki Carter actually tattoos you a lot.
Yeah, definitely, all the time. He tattoos me a lot while we are on tour as well.
And Tuki is also going to be on the Taylor Gang compilation album with other guys like Ty Dolla $ign, Juicy J, and Chevy Woods. The album’s been speculated for a while, but when can we expect it to drop?
We’ll probably end up dropping it next year sometime, especially with my album coming out. And we wanna do Chevy’s EP.
Blacc Hollywood is out now through Warner Music Australia.