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Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa performing in Brooklyn, New York in August 2009.
Background information
Birth name Cameron Jibril Thomaz
Born September 8, 1987 (1987-09-08) (age 22)
Minot, North Dakota, U.S.
Origin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper
Years active 2003–present
Labels Rostrum, Warner Bros.
Associated acts Curren$y
Website www.wizkhalifa.com

Cameron Jibril Thomaz (born September 8, 1987), better known by the stage name Wiz Khalifa, is an American rapper based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He released his debut album, Show and Prove, in 2006, and signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2007. His techno-influenced single, "Say Yeah", received urban radio airplay, charting on the Billboard's Hot 100, Rhythmic Top 40 and Hot Rap Tracks charts in 2008.[1] Khalifa parted with Warner Bros. and released his second album, Deal or No Deal, in November 2009.

Contents

Biography

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Early life

Khalifa was born on September 8, 1987 in Minot, North Dakota to a mother and a father serving in the military.[1][2] The family moved to Pittsburgh when Khalifa was three. His parents' military service caused the family to move on a regular basis.[2] Over the last decade, Khalifa lived in the U.S., Germany, England, and Japan.[1] His stage name is derived from khalifa, an Arabic word meaning "successor", and wisdom, which was shortened to Wiz when Khalifa was fifteen.[3]

Career

Khalifa released his first mixtape, Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania, in 2005. The mixtape led to his first full length album entitled Show and Prove in 2006. Khalifa was declared an "artist to watch" that year in Rolling Stone magazine.[4]

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".[5] 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.[6] 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".[7] 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.[8]

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.[7] 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.[9] 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.[10]

Khalifa released his second album, Deal or No Deal, on November 24, 2009. Khalifa focused his attention on the Internet to bring awareness to his music, utilizing sites like YouTube, Ustream, and Twitter.[11]

Khalifa will appear on the cover of XXL magazine for top 10 freshman of the year, the magazine will be released on March 16, 2010.

Discography

Albums

Mixtapes

  • 2005: Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania
  • 2007: Grow Season
  • 2007: Prince of the City 2
  • 2008: Star Power
  • 2009: Flight School
  • 2009: How Fly (with Curren$y)
  • 2009: B.A.R. (Burn After Rolling)[10]
  • 2010: Kush x Orange Juice[12]
  • 2010: Cabin Fever[12]
  • 2010: How Fly 2: The Wright Brothers (with Curren$y)

Singles

Year Song U.S. Hot 100 U.S. R&B U.S. Rap Album
2007 "Pittsburgh Sound (All in My Blood)" - - - Show and Prove
"Youngin' on His Grind" - - - non-album single
2008 "Say Yeah" 119 145 20 non-album single
"Make It Hot" - - - non-album single
2009 "This Plane" - - - Deal or No Deal

References

  1. ^ a b c Richards, Dave (September 18, 2008). "He'll make it hot". Erie Times-News. Retrieved on September 18, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Cordor, Cyril. "Wiz Khalifa". Allmusic. Retrieved on June 23, 2008.
  3. ^ Brotha Ash Productions interview
  4. ^ "Wiz Khalifa". November 28, 2006. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on August 2, 2007.
  5. ^ Breihan, Tom (June 24, 2008). "Girl Talk's Pop-Music Car-Wreck". The Village Voice. Retrieved on June 25, 2008.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b Mervis, Scott (July 18, 2009). "Wiz Khalifa, Warner Bros. part ways". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved on July 18, 2009.
  8. ^ Tady, Scott (August 1, 2009). "A new wave hits Pittsburgh music". Beaver County Times. Retrieved on August 2, 2009.
  9. ^ Falkowski, Jamie (October 15, 2009). "CMJ ’09: Wiz Khalifa". Time Out New York, Issue 733. Retrieved on October 19, 2009.
  10. ^ a b McCray, Mike (November 3, 2009). "Mixtape Review: Wiz Khalifa". Creative Loafing Charlotte. Retrieved on November 8, 2009.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ a b http://rollingout.com/insidemusic/independence-day/7735-rapper-wiz-khalifa-establishes-a-pittsburgh-sound.html

External links


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