Riding high off the release of his latest mixtape, Kush and Orange Juice, XXLMag.com caught up with the 2010 Freshman to talk about the project’s success.
For those unaware, on Wednesday (April 14) morning Kush and Orange Juice, premiered on Wiz’s twitter page, and in less than 30 minutes, the hashtag #kushandorangejuice ascended to the top of Twitter’s trending topics, which is the social networking site’s list of the top 10 things being tweeted about in the nation. By 9 a.m. Google Trends had labeled the search phrase “kush and orange juice download” as “volcanic,” their highest popularity ranking.
The buzz surrounding Khalifa’s project is surprising to some since it hasn’t even been a year since the 22-year-old Pittsburgh MC pushed his way out of his unsatisfactory label deal with Warner Bros. Records—a deal that many initially thought would be responsible for catapulting the charismatic rhymer into the limelight. However, it seems that the delayed grow season at WB was only necessary to pave the way for his current cultivation. The online fever pitch, undoubtedly pushed by “The Taylors,” Khalifa’s affectionate nickname for his devoted fan base, coupled with the success of his defiantly titled Deal or No Deal indie album and subsequent tour is not only indicative of his immense popularity, but quite possibly his arrival.
Although the gravity of this event has not been missed by the seasoned rookie, it also hasn’t fazed him either.
“I’m just chillin’,” Khalifa told XXLMag.com about how he’s celebrating. “I’m in Miami. I’m about to go record. I’m still working. I’m getting ready for the next part of our tour so you know I gotta keep my mind focused on that. As far as seeing the reaction and seeing that it’s blowing up and doing what it’s doing is great. I worked on it real hard and I held it to make sure this would happen…my plans of world domination is working.”
The artwork for the mixtape, reworks the cover of soul legend David Ruffin’s 1980 LP, Gentleman Ruffin. “The whole vibe of the tape was on some real old school, laid back,” he said of the nod to the late Temptations singer. “And if you hear the skits and stuff like that. It’s really on some ’70s or, early ’80s. My writing, too, I feel like it just kind of reincarnated what was going on [back then].”
Yet, despite the tape’s buzz, “Mr. Spacely” hasn’t stopped to celebrate because he’s looking toward the future. Wiz’s currently working on a studio album which, he says, will be “crazier than anything” he’s put out to date, alongside Cabin Fever—another mixtape that will precede the official LP. Soon he’ll be heading back out on the West Coast leg of his tour, which has seen 37 of the 40 booked shows sold out.
For now Kushton Slater shares a simple message for his fans: “Keep it Taylored.” —Brooklyne Gipson