Cameron Jibril Thomaz (born September 8, 1987), better known by the stage name Wiz Khalifa,
is an American rapper. He released his debut album, Show and Prove, in 2006, and signed to
Warner Bros. Records in 2007. His eurodance-influenced single, "Say Yeah", received urban
radio airplay, charting on the Rhythmic Top 40 and Hot Rap Tracks charts in 2008.Khalifa
parted with Warner Bros. and released his second album, Deal or No Deal, in November 2009.
He released the mixtape Kush and Orange Juice as a free download in April 2010; he then
signed with Atlantic Records. He is also well known for his debut single for Atlantic, "Black and
Yellow", which peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. His debut album for the label,
Rolling Papers, was released on March 29, 2011.
Khalifa was born on September 8, 1987 to a mother and a father serving in the military.His
parents divorced when Khalifa was about three years old. His parents' military service caused
him to move regularly: Khalifa lived in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan before settling
in Pittsburgh where he attended Taylor Allderdice High School.
His stage name is derived from khalifa, an Arabic word meaning "successor", and wisdom,
which was shortened to Wiz when Khalifa was a young boy .Khalifa stated to spinner.com that
the name also came from being called "young Wiz 'cause I was good at everything I did, and my
granddad is Muslim, so he gave me that name; he felt like that's what I was doing with my
music." He got his stage name tattooed on his 17th birthday.He includes Jimi Hendrix, Camp
Lo, The Notorious B.I.G. and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony among his influences.
2005–08: Early mixtapes and Show and Prove
Rostrum Records president Benjy Grinberg first heard about Wiz Khalifa in 2004 when the
rapper's contribution to a mixtape of various new Pittsburgh artists attracted his interest.When
Grinberg finally met the 16-year-old artist, he immediately decided he wanted to work with him,
later telling HitQuarters: "Even though he wasn’t all the way developed you could just tell that he
was a diamond in the rough, and that with some polishing, guidance and backing he could
become something special."Khalifa signed to the label shortly after and began a seven year
period of artist development.
Khalifa released his first mixtape, Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania, in 2005. The
mixtape paved the way for his first full length album entitled Show and Prove in 2006. Khalifa
was declared an "artist to watch" that year in Rolling Stone magazine.
In 2007, Khalifa signed to Warner Bros. Records and released two mixtapes through Rostrum
Records: Grow Season, hosted by DJ Green Lantern and released on July 4, 2007, and Prince
of the City 2, released on November 20, 2007. His debut Warner Bros. single "Say Yeah"
reached number 25 on the Billboard Rhythmic Top 40 music chart and number 20 on Billboard's
Hot Rap Tracks. The song samples "Better Off Alone" by Alice Deejay. Khalifa's vocals from
"Say Yeah" appear near the end of Pittsburgh mash up producer Girl Talk's 2008 album, Feed
the Animals, over music from Underworld's "Born Slippy", Usher's "Love in This Club", and the
Cure's "In Between Days".Khalifa appeared with The Game, David Banner and Play-n-Skillz at
U92's Summer Jam at the USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City, Utah on August 2,
2008.Khalifa released the mixtapes Star Power in September 2008, and Flight School in April
2009 on Rostrum Records.
Khalifa parted ways with Warner Bros. Records in July 2009 after numerous delays in releasing
his planned debut album for the label, First Flight. Khalifa stated to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
that, "I learned a lot during my time there and matured as an artist during the process. I'm happy
to be moving on with all of my material and having the chance to be in control of my next
moves".Khalifa appeared with Girl Talk, Modey Lemon, Donora, Grand Buffet, and Don
Caballero at the Amphitheatre at Station Square in Pittsburgh on July 31, 2009, where he
announced that his relationship with Warner Bros. was over.
2009–10: Deal or No Deal
Continuing his association with Rostrum Records, Khalifa released the single "Teach U to Fly",
and the mixtape How Fly, a collaboration with New Orleans rapper Curren$y, on August 9,
2009.Khalifa introduced a more melodic style on the mixtape, alternating between singing and
rapping. He opened for Wu-Tang Clan member U-God at the 2009 CMJ Music Marathon in New
York City. Khalifa released the mixtape Burn After Rolling on November 2, 2009, where he raps
over familiar beats from other artists, including the songs "If I Were A Boy" and "Diva" by
Beyoncé, "Walking on a Dream" by Empire of the Sun, "Luchini AKA This Is It" by Camp Lo, and
"Best I Ever Had" by Drake.Khalifa released his second album, Deal or No Deal, on November
Khalifa performed at Emo's in Austin, Texas in March 2010 as part of the 2010 South by
Southwest Music Festival.He appeared on the cover of XXL magazine that same month, for the
magazine's annual list of Top 10 Freshman, which included Donnis, J. Cole, Pill, Freddie Gibbs,
and Fashawn. Wiz Khalifa was named 2010 "Rookie Of The Year" by "The Source", with
alongside Rick Ross, "The Man Of The Year".He toured with rapper Yelawolf on a 20-date tour,
the Deal Or No Deal Tour.Khalifa released the free mixtape Kush and Orange Juice for
download on April 14, 2010. Due to Khalifa's devoted grassroots fan base, the mixtape became
the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter with the hash tag #kushandorangejuice, and "Kush and
Orange Juice download” ranked No. 1 on Google’s hot search trends.
2010: Signing with Atlantic Records
Citing music industry insiders, New York magazine wrote that Khalifa signed with Atlantic
Records in April 2010, although the rapper did not confirm it.He stated to AllHipHop in June
2010 that he was working on a new album, but was weighing his options and had not yet
decided on a label to distribute it.Khalifa confirmed to MTV on July 30 that he was signing an
Atlantic Records deal.
Khalifa was featured in a remix and video for the 2010 Rick Ross single "Super High", alongside
Curren$y.He guested on the mixtape Grey Goose, Head Phones, and Thirsty Women by St.
Louis rapper M.C, and was featured on the track "The Breeze (Cool)" on rapper Wale's August
2010 mixtape More About Nothing. Khalifa was named MTV's Hottest Breakthrough MC of
2010, winning with nearly 70,000 votes, and beating out finalists Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, Travis
Porter, and Diggy Simmons.
Khalifa appeared at the Soundset 2010 festival in May 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota,
alongside Method Man & Redman, Del the Funky Homosapien and Hieroglyphics, Atmosphere,
Murs, Cage, and others.He also performed at the 2010 Rock the Bells festival, along with hip
hop veterans Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, Lauryn Hill, A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, KRS-One,
Jedi Mind Tricks and Slick Rick.Khalifa declined an invitation to tour with rapper Drake and
launched his own "Waken Baken" tour, a 50-city national tour with rapper Yelawolf. The tour,
scheduled to last from September to November 2010, has, as of October, sold out every
venue.On November 2010, during his "Waken Baken" tour at East Carolina University, Wiz
Khalifa was arrested for possession and trafficking of marijuana. He was then released the next
morning after a $300K bail, and resumed his tour. Khalifa performed in a cypher during the 2010
BET Hip-Hop Awards. He recited his verse from the song, "The Check Point", from his mixtape
with Curren$y, How Fly.
2010–11: Mainstream success and Rolling Papers
Khalifa released "Black and Yellow", his first single for Rostrum/Atlantic, produced by Stargate,
which has received radio airplay.The single was peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100;
the title of the song refers to the colours of the Pittsburgh Steelers.Khalifa released his debut
album with Atlantic Records in 2011.He appeared with Curren$y on the track "Scaling the
Building" on producer Ski Beatz' 2010 album, 24 Hour Karate School.Khalifa's record label is
Taylor Gang Records, named after his love of Chuck Taylor All-Stars shoes.
On March 29, 2011, Khalifa released his first studio album, Rolling Papers. The album debuted
at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 197,000 copies in the
United States. Shortly afterward on March 31, 2011 Wiz Khalifa performed at Emory
University in Atlanta, Georgia as part of the school's annual Dooley's Weekend.On June 26,
2011, Khalifa was nominated and won Best New Artist at the BET Awards of 2011.Khalifa
collaborated with British rapper Tinie Tempah whom Tinie announced in an interview with
Rolling Stone that his next single is to be called "Till I'm Gone" and would feature Wiz Khalifa
and is to be produced by Stargate.The single and the video song were released at the end of
Thomaz proposed to model Amber Rose on March 1, 2012 showing off the ring on Twitter.He is
personal friends with Snoop Dogg, Juicy J, Yelawolf, and fellow Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller.
In March 2012, Thomaz purchased a 2.8 private wooded acres with a 3,891-square-foot
residence in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The residence includes 5-bedroom, 4-bath eco-
friendly, Brazilian Koa floors, stainless steel appliances, a separate guest house, and a lavish
master suite with high ceilings.He currently resides there with his fiancée Amber Rose.