According to Pittsburgh lyricist Wiz Khalifa, there were a few artists who inspired him to take the independent route with his music career. Among those artists were Atlanta rapper Jeezy, Harlem-based rap crew Dipset, and noted Staten Island group Wu-Tang Clan.
After leaving his deal with Warner Bros. Records back in 2009, Wiz said he recalled taking his career back into his own hands and taking pointers from artists he looked up to and felt were self-sufficient.
“When I had lost my deal, left my deal that’s when I took things back into my hands and I kinda showed everybody like ‘Yo, that’s the way to do it,’” Wiz Khalifa said during an interview with Vlad TV. “There were definitely artists pioneering it, doing stuff like that before that I looked at. Like Young Jeezy was one of the real pioneers for like the mixtape game in my eyes. I looked at him. A lot of independent artists like Wu-Tang and like freakin’ Three 6 Mafia. And just everybody who was like self-sufficient. It was like these are the artists that I look up to. So, I might as well do it just like them. You know, Dipset as well. It was like I might as well just do it like the people that I look up to. And it worked out for me.”
In addition to applauding the likes of Three 6 Mafia and Wu-Tang Clan, Wiz also commended the up-and-coming generation of artists for creating their own trends.
“It wasn’t really difficult to be honest,” he said when asked how he felt upon leaving Warner Bros. Records. “Cause I was just more focused on what I thought was cool. And what I had built in a world in my head to be just what mattered and what didn’t matter. And then years later that’s the world we live in now. Where your fans and your slang and how you dress and how you talk and that’s what makes you cool. That’s what translates into hits and stuff like that. Because kids are coming out of anywhere and everywhere making the dopest beats. Making crazy songs and concepts. And they got clothes and they got dances and everything. And it’s been like that for a long time. But I think everything got really commercialized to a point where people felt like it was out of their hands.”
The release of Wiz Khalifa’s interview with Vlad TV comes days before the scheduled August 19 release of his next studio album, Blacc Hollywood. In a past conversation with Vlad TV, he revealed why it’s taken him so long to release his fifth studio album.
“It had a lot to do with just getting the whole vision in order,” the rapper said. “And just making sure that when this came out that it’s really pushing me forward in my career and in my life. And not just putting music out to put it out. And Atlantic they really understand me, you know, as an artist. They want the best for me, so we just had to really come back and rearrange some things and just make sure that the visual’s clear. So, when it does come out we can kill it how we’re supposed to.”