It's already been an eventful summer for rap veteran and weed connoisseur Wiz Khalifa. The Pittsburgh native released his highly anticipated Rolling Papers 2 album in July and followed up with the loaded Dazed & Blazed North American Tour that ran through August.
The work doesn't stop for Wiz, who will partner with Doritos to headline their Blaze Stage next week (Sept. 20) at the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas to cap f the summer with a performance spanning the 31-year-old's decorated discography.
Khalifa's involvement comes as part Doritos' Blaze the Beat program, which is currently searching for the next great artist through a fiery competition led by the legendary Busta Rhymes — and it's finally down to the final five contestants. "It's cool for the artists, because I remember on my way up there weren't too many opportunities like this to get noticed and recognized by those that you look up to as well," the Taylor Gang leader tells Billboard.
Read the rest our interview with Wiz Khalifa as we discuss getting puked on in Netflix's The After Party by Kyle, responding to parenting critiques from social media, his favorite moments from the Dazed & Blazed Tour, and sampling a teenage Demi Lovato on "We're Done" back in 2010.
How did you get involved with Doritos and their Blaze the Beat program?
Wiz Khalifa: Yeah, it's super cool, man. It's good because it gives artists the opportunity to use their creativity and have a platform and be around other artists who have put a lot work in the game. If you're up and coming you want to get recognized and compete against people who are dope.
So you're actually set to headline the Blaze Stage following the contestants' performances in Las Vegas?
I'm actually the performer on the stage after the winner. It's cool for the artists, because I remember on my way up there weren't too many opportunities like this to get noticed and to get recognized by those that you look up to as well, and I feel like this is a really good chance for creative people in general.
How did you end up starring in The After Party movie — where you ended up getting puked on by Kyle?
It was cool as heck. It was fun because they had reached out to me to be a part the movie before it was even a full idea or sold to Netflix. I was like, "Sure, I'll get thrown up on." We went out to New York, and it was cool, because all the artists got to kick it together and film the movie for a day. It came out dope. I'm a really light-hearted humble dude so something like that isn't far f for me. I don't mind getting puked on.
Just seeing all the special effects and how they make the puke was cool. It's like oatmeal mixed with creamy shit. It's really chunky, thick and nasty.
That scene ruined a nice shirt yours too.
Fucked my shirt up, dog. My stylist was so mad. She was like, "They're going to do what to your shirt?!" I'm like, "Yeah, it's over."
We need more representation hip-hop like that in movies.
Right. It's good for our generation. It reminded me like how House Party captured the '90s, with the visuals as well. They captured what our generation goes through as millennials. Even the fact Kyle] getting bullied through social media. I felt like that was a big message as well, because it happens so much. But you can also have something good from that, as long as you keep hustling.
Does it bother you when you feel you have to address people who critique your parenting on social media? Last week there was somewhat an unwarranted uproar for you letting Sebastian take the school bus.
I felt good about it. It was actually one those things that I usually kind hide from and let people comment and say whatever they want. I figured I'd just use my platform to get my point across in a non-defensive manner. If the negativity has a voice, I wanted to give the positive side a voice. I'm happy I did it. There wasn't any pressure or anything. I felt like sticking up for my son. He's going to be mine forever. Now, down the road he can be like, "My dad stuck up for me and defended me regardless." That's my little man.
Does someone critiquing your parenting skills hit you differently than someone criticizing your rapping?
Nah, it's not a different reaction from me. I'm so confident in my parenting skills and what I have to fer to other people that they will look at the positive side. The negative doesn't really impact me. It's really just a part life and what I go through. It's a part the process. My relationship is with my son. As long as he's good, I don't listen to too much the outside noise. I really look at it on a bigger scale what do these kids' parents treat them like, to make them comment? It's not grownups making these comments a lot the time. If they have positive influences in their life — which I'm clearly being — then they'll be able to move on from that.
What were some your favorite stories that came out the Dazed & Blazed Tour that you just wrapped up with Rae Sremmurd and Lil Skies?
Yeah, I smoked a backwood with the little homie. I haven't smoked a blunt in years. I've rolled them for my homies because that's a big thing. I hit one with the young homie for the culture. I know it's the new generation, so I had to step outside the box. I ain't smoking that shit on the regular, it was just for that night. That's the most fun part. I'm a corny, weird, emotional dude.
The best part the tour was just having everyone on stage with me. Being able to have watched them perform their sets and to have songs with them as well. To have everyone from my homies with Taylor Gang to Lil Skies to Swae Lee, and have everyone perform together onstage at the end the night, was dope. It was good for music. I feel like we all took something home from that as friends.
I enjoyed that part it. We bonded, rode motorcycles together, and just kicked it the whole tour. We smoked and lifted weights too. There was no ego involved. Everybody was sharing. You could walk in anyone's dressing room at any given time and get some food or get some weed and have a good time.
What made you want to sample a Demi Lovato Camp Rock song for "We're Done" from Kush & Orange Juice in 2010? It's amazing to see that you both went on to become full-blown superstars this decade as well.
It's crazy bro. I would always sample songs that weren't rap songs or anything. When I heard the Demi record way back then, I was like, "Man it would be tight if it was some weed rap over this." Fast-forward and she's a megastar and I'm a rap-weed legend. So it was just meant to be.