Wiz Khalifa & Danny McBride: Burn After Reading (Cover Story)

Wiz Khalifa & Danny McBride: Burn After Reading (Cover Story)Interview By Peter Rubin; Photography By F. Scott Schafer; Styling By Kelly McCabe

So what if Danny McBride and Wiz Khalifa weren’t expected to succeed? They’re still blazing a trail. More fire, more fire, more fire!

Historically speaking, Pittsburgh is to hip-hop what North Carolina is to filmmaking: somewhere between an anomaly and a footnote. Or at least that was the case before the world was introduced to Wiz Khalifa and Danny McBride. Over the past five years, both men have created an indelible image in the minds of their fans—one as a laid-back cat with quiet charisma to spare, the other as an outsize presence with outsize appetites who would outright steal any scene you were unfortunate enough to be acting alongside him in. And both of their careers seemingly hit critical mass last year. 2010 brought Wiz a monstrous mixtape in Kush & Orange Juice, a new label in Atlantic, and a new fanbase in the Pittsburgh Steelers, who made his No. 1 hit, "Black and Yellow," the team’s anthem during the NFL playoffs. For Danny, last year meant a second season as Kenny Powers on the hugely popular HBO show Eastbound & Down.

Despite the recent milestones, though, it’s only now that both are introducing themselves to the public at large for the first time. Danny’s first starring role in a big-budget movie comes courtesy of Your Highness, a fittingly McBride-esque take (he co-wrote it, after all) on the swords-and-sorcery fantasy movies of the 1980s. Meanwhile, Wiz is going all in with his major-label debut, Rolling Papers. Cult followings are well and good, but no one wants to see their career go up in a puff of smoke. Only time will tell how the mainstream embraces two men who came out of nowhere and built movements on their own terms. In the meantime, we’ll be waiting to exhale.

So who’s the bigger hero on college campuses?

D: I’m gonna give it up to Wiz.

W: Nah, I’m gonna give it up to Danny, big time.

When was the last time you were on a college campus?

D: Actually, a few days ago—my younger sister’s in college.

Was it pandemonium?

D: Yeah, it was nuts. Then the uprising in Egypt started. I’m not gonna say it was connected, but sometimes you have to shut off the Internet and squash those rumors.

W: This dude is way more of a fuckin’ big man on campus than me. I just show up to rap, you know what I’m sayin’?

Yeah, but it won’t be long until you’re being asked to give the graduation speech. What would you say to a group of college kids?

W: Like, to motivate them? Honestly, I would tell them that weed isn’t as bad as everyone tries to make it seem.

You could be pumping gas and somebody wants an autograph, and you've gotta turn it on. And if you don't, you're an asshole. -Wiz

Don’t you think that’s kinda changing, though? It’s legal in 15 states—

W: Yeah, it’s medicinal in places and shit. But, I just want ’em to know it’s not that bad, ’cause there’s a lot of kids that smoke in college. Don’t feel bad. Hide it. Don’t get in trouble. Find the places to hide it. That’s important—hiding it. That’s part of the game.

What’s the good stash spot people don’t know about?

W: Shit, you got any good stash spots?

D: I kinda do it old-school—I just keep it stuffed up my asshole a lot of times. Even if I’m not traveling, just when I’m alone in my house, I’ll act like I’m coming outta Panama.

Anything else in there? Spare keys?

D: Nope. I save it for the chronic, that’s it.

Is there a type of weed that fits more snugly in the anal cavity?

D: Oh no, they all fit in equally.

W: The less stems, the better.

D: Yeah, we don’t like that seedy shit.
Tags: wiz-khalifa, danny-mcbride, cover-stories
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