Wherever Wiz Khalifa is calling from, the reception is terrible. He's on the phone to talk about his new album, the soundtrack to "Mac & Devin Go to High School," the upcoming buddy comedy in which he co-stars with Snoop Dogg. He also wants to talk about their joint tour (which hits the 9:30 Club on Wednesday), and about his crazy breakout year.
It was only this past February that Khalifa's hit "Black and Yellow" went to No. 1. Since then, he's released his major label debut, the gold-certified "Rolling Papers," and toured almost constantly. The touring has taken its toll: Khalifa misses his dog ("I've got a pitbull. She wouldn’t really appreciate living on the bus") and his high-profile girlfriend Amber Rose, in that order.
Otherwise, being Wiz Khalifa doesn't seem like a bad gig. In between dropped calls and hard-to-make-out answers, he explains.
So, you've had quite a year.
Yeah. It wasn't bad.
Everyone who gets famous says it seems to happen in a blur. What do you remember of it?
I remember all of it….[I remember the tour bus], being on a bus all year.
Is it weird to spend so much time away from your friends and family back home? That they're living their lives and you're sort of in suspended animation on tour all the time?
No, it's cool because all my family works with me. Like, my cousins and my uncles do my [merchandising], and Will who's my tour manager is also my best friend, so I'm not really missing too much. I miss my dog, and I miss my best friend. I miss Amber when she's not with me and I miss my dad and my little sister. Everyone else is cool.
If had told you a year ago all of this was going to happen, would you have believed me?
Yeah, sure. I put in the work, so to see it pay off in these ways is a good thing.
Had you been a fan of Snoop Dogg's before you did this movie together?
Heck, yeah. I've been a fan of his since I was in preschool.
And now you both are in [fictional] high school together.
It definitely felt natural. I've always kind of seen myself in that position. [The movie is] about me coming out of my shell. I'm like not really a nerd, but I'm a smart guy who's never walked on the wild side. And all Snoop does is walk on the wild side.
How did the song with Bruno Mars [lead single "Young, Wild & Free"] come about? Were you all in the studio at the same time?
We weren't all in the studio at the same time. I had the song first but I kind of overlooked it, and Snoop said, “This would be a really good idea for the soundtrack,” so we did it [and Bruno came on it]. It was kind of a no brainer.
How far along are you in recording your next album?
I’m pretty much done with my album. I'm still really tightening it up. I want to make it as tight as possible but not really overdo it. It'll be a combination of what people expect of me in terms of a consistent sound, and also having some hit records on it.
You've said it will be called "O.N.I.F.C." What's that stand for?
I haven't let that out yet, but I'll tell people sometime.
Did you feel there was less pressure doing a movie than doing an album? If the movie fails, you don't have much to lose.
Yeah. It was good to be brand new at something all over again.