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.
What’s the good stash spot people don’t know about?
Anything else in there? Spare keys?
Is there a type of weed that fits more snugly in the anal cavity?
Both of you have built either a character or an image based on indulgence, whether it’s weed, or other vices. Do people make assumptions of who the real Danny is as a person? Or the real Cameron Thomaz as a person?
The way you guys work and the way Judd Apatow and his crew work, improvising and ad-libbing has changed the way comedy movies get made. Has it changed the writing process for you guys to the point where you might just leave dialogue a little looser and figure the real jewels are going to come on set?
Wiz, what are your movie tastes like?
[Laughs.] Nah, what are your movie tastes like?
So what makes a good stoner movie?
In the creation of the movie or as a plot point?
makes retching noise
What’s your morning routine like?
Rumors about you?
What are the downsides of becoming a more visible person and being successful?
Danny, you just got married last year. How is it balancing a long-term relationship with newfound fame? Especially now that you’re able to do a lot of the projects you’ve always wanted to do. That’s the kind of thing that takes you away from home for long periods of time.
No paparazzi came to Virginia looking for you?
Coke debts aside, you guys both seem very laid-back—when was the last time you got really upset?
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