Wiz Khalifa Talks Fatherhood, Grammy Nominations and Chief Keef’s No-Show
Last week, you couldn’t find one corner of the Internet that wasn’t talking about Wiz Khalifa. The Taylor Gang general dropped his sophomore effort, O.N.I.F.C.; it’s expected to sell between 135,000 to 145,000 and could possibly land at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200. Shortly after the album rollout, Wiz received Grammy nominations for Best Rap Song (“Young, Wild and Free” with Snoop Dogg) and Best Pop Duo/Performance (“Payphone” with Maroon 5). Needless to say, both fans and the industry as a whole are glad to hear Wiz back in full force. Fresh off his huge week, Wiz sat down with XXL to give us an update on everything: his thoughts on the Grammys, fatherhood, Chief Keef’s no-show at the “Hate Being Sober” video shoot and the upcoming Taylor Gang compilation.—Eric Diep (@E_Diep)
You were nominated for two Grammy Awards. How does that feel?
I’m really excited. It’s just cool to make music that I really enjoy and I love doing and get recognized for it. So it’s cool. It’s fun. I’m definitely excited. It’s always a big deal when the Grammys come knocking.
What’s the response to O.N.I.F.C. been like?
I love the response. I feel like people are accepting it for what it is. I haven’t heard anybody say [something] that I thought like, “Ah, man. They are completely off.” Everything is pretty accurate.
Your critics have often focused on the marijuana aspect of your music, but you’ve defended O.N.I.F.C. as a “mood album.”
Those same people who say that, those are the same people who listen to Kush & Orange Juice and my mixtapes and my previous things, like, “Oh, when I listen to Wiz, I feel high.” You know what I am saying? So I’ll never try to take that “Nameless” out of it versus, like, “Leave Me Alone.” That’s what attracts people to the music. Whether they respect [it] more or less, that’s why they started listening to it. They got what they wanted.
Is the Taylor Gang compilation still on the way?
That’s still on schedule [after O.N.I.F.C.]. That’s still what we plan on doing. But, we are just building it up and using the outlets that we had. Especially my album—I have the whole Taylor Gang on there. You know, just introducing them to the world so everybody can come when it’s that time. It will just be natural and it will just be real. I’m definitely gonna keep it within the group. There are still a couple of artists that people don’t fully know about yet. So I’ll bring them to the forefront and let them find some favorites and stuff with them. You know, just keep it interesting. Keep it fun.
You recently took part in the video shoot for Chief Keef’s “Hate Being Sober” video shoot with 50, which made headlines when Keef didn’t show up. What’s your side of the story on that?
I think the media and stuff like that is making more of a big deal than it really is. I think he just made a little mistake. You know, that happens and we still shot the video. As I understand, he’s going to be able to make up for it and shoot another part of the video. Everything is going to be good. I mean you got me, you got 50—we straight. We good. I think a lot of people hyped it up because it’s easy being on the outside looking in.
You’re going to be a father soon. What rules are you going to have for your future children?
Just let the kids always be themselves. Never force anything on them. Give them some rules but don’t be too strict. Let them have fun. Push them in the right direction as far as what you know and what you didn’t learn. Let them learn those things.
Did your father give you any advice on being a dad?
Yeah, of course. He didn’t start preaching too much but just small things that would have helped him out if somebody told him. You know, it’s always good to get that point of view. But at the end of the day, you learn from experience. [Me and Amber] are both coming into this learning, so we share [advice]. We communicate. We just prepare. That’s more of what it is: preparation.