WORDS VANESSA SATTEN
IMAGES SARAH McCOLGAN

“You look awesome in every picture, daddy,” Amber Rose says to her fiancé, Wiz Khalifa, while sitting at a computer and scrolling through some photos we just shot of them. Wiz stands behind her, looking at the screen. “You look beautiful in every picture,” he says, giving her shoulder a squeeze. “I look like a dummy.” He laughs.

Amber shakes her head and giggles. “I look like a fat fuck.”

“Nooo,” her boo insists.

And so it goes as the photo shoot unfolds on this sunny September afternoon in Los Angeles’s Siren Studios. Wiz, 25, and Amber, 28, are in love with a capital L-O-V-E. They kiss, they pet and paw, they googly-eye each other. Some of their poses are so intimate, you want to turn away. Like you just walked into the wrong hotel room. But it’s cool. It’s something folks don’t see everyday in hip-hop.

After shooting to rap stardom with his monster 2010 smash “Black and Yellow,” Wiz carved himself a solid place in hip-hop with the release of his major label debut Rolling Papers (Rostum/Atlantic). It was during those heady “Black and Yellow” days that the Pittsburgh native linked up with the Philadelphia-born model and former girlfriend of Kanye West. They fell head-over-heels. Fast-forward a year-and-half, Wiz and Amber are now engaged and expecting a child.

So while Wiz works on his second album, O.N.I.F.C. [Only Nigga In First Class], due out later this year, and runs his label, Taylor Gang Records, his primary focus is on getting ready to be a dad and husband.

Mums the word on the baby’s gender, due date and name, but Wiz and Amber opened up to XXL about their relationship and the excitement about all of their upcoming releases.

How far along are you?
Amber: Second trimester. My first trimester was really hard, like most women. I threw up a lot. I was very, very, very sick. I’m still sick now in my second trimester. I just feel like I learned a lot just being pregnant this time. For my next baby, I’ll know what not to eat and things to stay away from. Definitely the smell sensitivity is still very strong. Certain things, as soon as I smell them, I throw up immediately.

You said earlier that the smell of weed made you sick. With Wiz being such a famous weed head, how does that work out?

Amber: He would never ever smoke in front of me. I mean even just living in California, it’s really hard because there’s weed shops everywhere. So even when I’m driving and I go down the wrong block, I get sick.

So, how long have you guys been together?
Wiz: A year and a half.

And you’re officially engaged. Is there a date set?
Wiz: Nah, there’s no date set yet. But we’ll probably get licensed and married before the baby’s born, and do a wedding afterwards because it makes more sense for the baby to be in the wedding than for her to be pregnant. Some people, they rush and do it. But, it works both ways.

Amber: Yeah, we definitely want our baby to be in our wedding pictures. And you know, being pregnant, I’m tired a lot. So to have a whole wedding and planning it all out and the reception—I just don’t want to be sleeping when everybody’s partying at our wedding.

TO FIND OUT HOW THE COUPLE MET, GO TO THE NEXT PAGE.

So what about Amber got you so caught up?
Wiz: It was really just her personality. The way I felt, like, she really loved me and stood up for me. At the point where she could’ve went either way.

She wasn’t chasing you just for being Wiz…
Wiz: Yeah. Not only that, but she had people whose interests weren’t necessarily how happy she was, personally. It was like, “How many dollars can we get.” And she went against those people, because she’s like, “Yo, I love this dude and I don’t give a fuck what you guys say or who you think he is or what you think it’s going to do for my career. I want to be happy and fall in love and I want to fully experience this.” We had that conversation and she told me what her decision was. Even before that, I knew she was down for me. But that was like what really solidified it and made it, more-or-less; couldn’t nobody tell me anything about her after that. What would you say about the industry, this, that and the other thing.

How do your families get along?
Wiz: They get along great.

Amber: They love each other.

Wiz: Her and my dad talk more than me and my dad. Me and her mom are best friends. Her and my mom just chop it up. It’s crazy; we were raised like we all grew up together. Her mom is just like my mom; her dad is just like my dad. Her dad was in the military; my dad was the more strict military one. Her mom let her do whatever and my mom just let me run around and do whatever. It’s the same message from both of our parents so it’s really crazy.

Amber: We have the same exact parents… My family now is Wiz and his mom, dad and sister and his family, I’ve gained a whole family and now we’re having a baby so that’s more important to me than any career I could possibly have. I’m not one of those girls that’s going to wait until they’re 45. I just feel like I need to do what makes me happy. Family makes me happy. My side of the family is literally like three people. So when me and Wiz fell in love, his entire family just took me in and I was like, ‘This is what I always wanted.’ I just felt like I was back home and that was true happiness for me.

A lot of rappers don’t like to look married or wifed up so that they can stay attractive to their female fans. Keep the fantasy. Ever worry about losing that part of your fan base?
Wiz: Nah, not at all.

Amber: They love us.

Wiz: The girls, I don’t feel like—a lot of my female fans aren’t attracted to me sexually anyway. They like my music.

Amber: I don’t believe that.

Wiz: They like my music and they like my mind frame. So, when they see me and see how much I love Amber, that just adds to it. They don’t necessarily want me, they want they’re own guy to be modeled after me. So I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m taken... You know, everything I do is me, personally. That’s just how I feel. I wouldn’t be me if I was acting any type of way, if I acted like another rapper doing what another rapper does. My situation works for me perfectly. But for another rapper—and you know some of my friends are fuckin’ sleazebags, and they’re not not my friends but, they’re just not on the same shit that I’m on. That’s just where the line is drawn. I think when you have that respect with your peers and the people who know you then you could move forward everybody knows that you’re being real.

You’re so open when talking about loving Amber and being in love. You don’t often see that in hip-hop. It’s kinda more old R&Bish. What makes you comfortable with being so open about your feelings?

Wiz: I love my baby. She’s gorgeous and it makes me look even cooler when I show how much I love her to other people. But not only that, it’s just how I really feel. And that’s just what I’m all about. It’s about being yourself, 100 percent. When I met Amber, she loved me for who I was. I had some money, but it was like to pay my bills and literally set myself up for a future. But I was wearing the same camo shorts and high-tops and Chucks. But she liked my swag and she liked me for who I was and I wasn’t afraid of that.

Amber: I remember when you called me—and he was like, “Babe, I just got the cover of Rolling Stone.” And I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ I was so excited.

Wiz: When she seen me on the cover of XXL—tell her about the story with XXL.

Amber: Yeah I saw him on the cover of XXL’s Freshmen Class [April 2010 issue]. And I was like, he was the only one on there that was smiling. It’s so crazy that I didn’t put two and two together when I met him, ’cause at that time, I didn’t really know “Black and Yellow.” I didn’t really listen to radio like that. And when I met him, I didn’t put two and two together until after. “Hey, you’re from the Freshman Class of XXL!” And now he’s my fiancé.

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE, PURCHASE XXL‘S OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2012 ISSUE, ON NEWSSTANDS NOW.