Behind every “overnight sensation” is actually years of hard work. Just ask Wiz Khalifa or anyone else who has been following his work for the past five years and they'll tell you—Wiz has put in a ton of work to get to where he’s at. The Pittsburgh MC first started rapping at 16 and dropped independent albums in 2006 (Show and Prove) and 2009 (Deal or No Deal). But Wiz didn’t truly make his mark until last year when he dropped his excellent mixtape, Kush & Orange Juice, for free download. A groovy, hazy, carefree listen, it was one of the best albums of last year and it even became a trending topic on Twitter the day it dropped—giving credence to Wiz’s organic buzz.
Like Drake, with all eyes on him after releasing an acclaimed mixtape, Wiz set out to record his major label debut. Last year, he came out with “Black and Yellow”—an anthem for his hometown of Pittsburgh which rocketed to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The hit propelled his album Rolling Papers to debut at #2 and sell 191,000 copies earlier this year.
That’s why Complex decided to get with everyone involved with creating the young rapper’s major label debut including producers like Stargate, Jim Jonsin, and Benny Blanco, rappers like Curren$y, Too $hort, and Chevy Woods, and even the A&Rs who handled the project. And of course, we spoke with the star of the show himself, Wiz Khalifa. So click ahead to find out how Wiz initially thought the “Black and Yellow” hook was corny, which song was inspired by the strip club, and how much drinking he was actually doing while making the songs. This is The Making of Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers...
As told to Toshitaka Kondo (@ToshitakaKondo) & Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)