Wiz Khalifa Responds To Criticism Of "O.N.I.F.C." Cover Art, Jimi Hendrix Comparisons

Wiz Khalifa speaks on the backlash he received for his '60s-inspired "O.N.I.F.C." cover art.

Fan response was decidedly negative when Wiz Khalifa released the cover art to his upcoming sophomore studio effort O.N.I.F.C. (Only Nigga In First Class) earlier this month. Now, in a recent interview with Karen Civil, the Pittsburgh emcee responds to the criticism.

Wiz said that the cover is meant to better capture his new-found style and that he didn't expect people to be so taken aback by it. Still, he explained that he's not upset about the negative response, as it is generating discussion about his anticipated project. He added that the cover wasn't specifically inspired by Jimi Hendrix, but rather the larger ethos of the '60s counter-culture.

"With the [O.N.I.F.C.] cover and everything, it's just moving into the future," he said. "We can't stay where we've ever been at, we got to move forward…I think that's the beauty of it - so many people try to plan all those types of situations and be like, 'This is what it is, that's what it is' - I don't know what [the response] is gonna be. I do what I feel, and then people react to it. When [the cover] got its reaction, it was crazy to me 'cus I thought people was gonna love it. I thought they would be like, 'Yo, this is the craziest cover, this is the best shit I've ever seen in my life'…when I sat down and thought about it, I was like, 'Well, whether they're talking about how bad it is or how good it is, they're talking about it,' and that becomes the thing for the day, week, month, however long it lasts. It's a good thing, and I believe in it, so that's what's most important."

He added, "[Jimi Hendrix] is definitely an influence, but it's not just [that]. Jimi Hendrix is a great person, I love Jimi, but like that whole era of music, they all look like that. When you look back at that time and the Vietnam days…that's what people looked like at that time. Me having an afro and me wearing a bandanna around my head and people think now I look like Jimi Hendrix, it doesn't mean I'm trying to be Jimi. Yeah, I love Jimi, but that's not really exactly who I'm trying to be. I embody that mind frame [and] spirit of what was going on at that time, how people really felt about how important it was to stand up for what you believe in and to fight for what was yours, whether it be your culture or your family."

Check out the full interview below via KarenCivil.com.

RELATED: Wiz Khalifa & Curren$y Delay "Live In Concert" Mixtape


  • Mr. Blake

    I didn't know there was an O.N.I.F.C cover backlash until I saw this interview. I just thought the cover was super cool and I still do. I was not an instant Wiz fan, but he's grown on me a lot. looking forward to the new album.

  • David

    Just sit back and listen to some chill, good ass music. Stop worrying about who came up with it, who's copying it, or who's better. I bet all the clothes you're wearing were inspired by something, and that makes you who you are. Well, this is Wiz, and ONIFC is about to be nasty. So STFU..

  • truth

    its funny how these artists have such strong messages in their image yet their music is generic and meaningless

    • Anonymous

      Obviously you don't hear everything he releases. Wiz has meaning in all his songs whether it is in your face or a little hidden. Listen to the music. Also he is not generic. I don't know a single rapper who can match his flow. Wiz is original. What he is showing in the picture is that he is successful. The album is called "Only Nigga In First Class." He is trying to show people that he isn't like the other rappers, which I'm pretty sure means that he isn't generic. Its right in front of your face. Open your eyes.

  • BigShinyBullocks

    He is blatantly trying to profit off of a dead music icon without showing the slightest touch of originality or even making a statement explaining this pose or his connection to Jimi... If you support this cat and think your more than just a trend follower than you must live a pretty dull life

    • Anonymous

      I don't understand how he is trying to profit off of it. Its just a picture. His music is original and real. If he was trying to profit off Hendrix, his album would of been full of songs similar to his. Clearly it is not. All your doing is bitching because you probably don't like him and are just looking for something to complain about. A cover is just a picture. The album is about the music. It's not a big deal so I don't understand why you feel that just because you like him you are a trend follower. I was listening to him since Show and Prove which came out before he even signed with the Warner Bros. Record label. If you like someone popular that doesn't mean you are a trend follower.

    • Anonymous

      No originality? The type of music he makes is original. Whether it be all about weed or not.. Nobody else did it.

  • Bill_Brasky

    ATTENTION ALL WIZ KHALIFA FANS: Wiz makes his money from you off albums and shows > spends his time doing awesome shit with the money you gave him > makes songs about all the awesome shit he did with your money > makes more money off you from albums and shows... can't knock the hustle, but as far as art goes this guy is as creative as a caricature

  • LOL


  • H8 ALL

    OH and the TITLE of the album was also "inspired" by Prodigy's H.N.I.C series... did I mention this dude is as uncreative as the tattoos that he had somebody else ink all over his body...

  • H8 ALL

    People in the '60s dressed like that because it was original and no one had seen that fashion. Now Wiz is trying to swagger jack a whole generation on top of putting out some bland, commercial hip hop. Dumb bitches and very stupid stoners make this dude famous, it seems like he losses my respect with everything he does.


    His girlfriend is a bald lady. I have spoken.

  • realtalk

    I'm convinced gwyneth paltrow talked him into dressing like this

  • Anonymous

    yo what about that coming out of the closet letter he put out after the cover first came out, talking about his inner sleaze and being true to yourself, shit was mad suspect

  • u dumb fucks

    god damn you mother fuckers are stupid, i never post on here cuz i dont see the point but jesus no wonder this site has lost all respect for itself when you have haters everywhere you turn. jimi hendrix took a picture just like this back in the day with the same clothes n everything for those of you too stupid to realize. its one of his most iconic pictures. wiz has talent ive been bumpin kush n orange juice all night at work and dont tell me rolling papers wasnt the shit. at least he stays creative. get the fuck off the chat boards and make your own music if you dont like it

  • Daniel

    Him even mentioning Jimi in any form is an insult to music. Jimi had talent, had skills, had a vision for his music. This guy is just the same shit over and over again...

  • Anonymous

    hes talking like he wants to dress like that when you know it was some stylist and the record labels tellin him what to do

  • You're crazy. I like you but you're crazy.

    Dude needs to put down the bong. He thought peeps would think the cover would be crazy. He must be high off his ass! What's crazy about it?! He's wearing a fur coat & a pair of jeans. Whooooaaa crazy man! If this is this fools idea of crazy, I'd hate to hear something boring from.. oh, that's right he's got a whole back catalogue.

  • LT

    Funny I Thought This Nigga Was Rick James Biiytch

  • Jose

    Never been a fan of Wiz, not sure what the buzz was about during his time last year since I don't think his music is that great. I mean dude obviously gets women, gets money, and gets whatever else he wants... But as far as him going for the Cruella Deville look... that's just a little strange, but then again, he's got his fans. Funny thing is, Michael Jackson would of been the only one who could wear whatever he wanted in 2012 and not get criticized, but obviously I'm not gonna compare a musical icon to an amateur rapper, lol.

  • Wiz Killed 101 Dalmations for his album cover

    Damn Wiz..You even borrowed Super Dave's stunt pants also..Amber"Hero to the hoes"Rose got you twisted b...

  • X drop BOMBS like Nagasaki

    'Ol skinny over-cooked spaghetti strand, used up toothbrush head lookin like muthafucca.

  • hgdfs

    all thanks to the irresponsible use of alot of marijuana. such as pity that money could have been used for something else..........well in the end I hope the songs are good.

  • CJR

    I was a little taken aback when I first saw this but it's foolish to dis him for it. Dude dress how dude dress, who cares? Is the music any good is all I care about. Besides, how often do you see album covers these days anyway? Not like we're still carryin books of CDs around & shit.

    • Anonymous

      I still carry around cd's. Thats the reason why a lot of people that listen to hip hop lack understanding and appreciation for an artist. Its something about holding your favorite artist album cover in your hands. I enjoy breaking weed down on some of my oldschool cd's. Like Lethal Injection,The diary,Illmatic. When my friends come over and we smoking I pull out my Chronic,All Eyes on me, or Illmatic album and they are vinyl. Its just something dope about that it is always a topic of conversation especially with youngsters that I play that vinyl for

  • Anonymous

    you are all fucking stupid if you say he's trying to be like Jimi Hendrix or your trying to compare Wiz to Jimi FIRST OF ALL WIZ IS A RAPPER and Jimi is A FUCKIN ROCKSTAR BIG FUCKING DIFFERENCE just cause Wiz says Jimi is his idol doesnt mean hes going into Rock like you are all stupid as fuck

  • Anonymous

    first he says 'with the ONIFC cover its trying to move into the future' but then he starts talking about how it's inspired by the 1960's and how people dressed back then and their attitudes his explanation doesn't really make sense, not to me at least

  • Anonymous

    wiz is a massive jimmy hendrix fan. i heard him say it b4. he totally idolises him and is trying to ress and be like him.

  • The Critic

    I guess Wiz Khalifa must be smoking weed mixed with crack & taking LSD all leading up to his personality splitting in two. One personality is Wiz while the other is Jimi Hendrix.

  • X drop BOMBS like Nagasaki

    This dude a funny looking, fruity muthafucCa.

  • Anonymous

    i think the pants are a little suspect, but its not like he is losing me as a fan i was never a fan to begin with haha

  • Anonymous

    How the hell can you compare Jimi Hendrix to this talentless twat?

  • 2 Chainz

    anyone remember the episode of family guy where brian scares stewie with the Queen album cover? I had the same reaction when I saw Wiz's cover

  • Extra, extra! Read all about it! Wiz Khalifa sucks dick!

    The only thing him and Jimi Hendrix have in common is that they're both black. Jimi Hendrix had talent, Wiz Khalifa has herpes.

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