Wiz Khalifa Wants a Folk-Rock Collabo, Drops ‘Rolling Papers’
On the eve of the release of his much-buzzed-about major label debut, Wiz Khalifa had an unusual thing on his mind.
“Mumford & Sons,” Khalifa told MTV on Monday (March 28) from a Spring Break taping in Las Vegas. “They got a really tight song that I wanna rap over.” Mumford & Sons, for those not in the know, are folk-rock’s latest kingpins; four British lads that sing and strum their instruments like they grew up in Smokey Mountains and spent their free time canoeing down the Hiwassee River like the Revolutionary War never happened. What Khalifa is referring to is the indie rock band’s panache for taking an unplugged number and crafting it into a full-blown rock ‘n’ roll tune … with a banjo and an upright bass.
Khalifa’s long-awaited ‘Rolling Papers’ drops today, and it’s a big deal for more than one reason. The Pittsburgh native — who inadvertently devised 2010’s most ingenious marketing plan with the release of his single ‘Black and Yellow,’ an ode to his hometown football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who then went on to play in the Super Bowl with his song as their unofficial anthem (that led to hit single fever and too many remixes to keep track of) — has dealt with several blows along the way. On the rise, he signed with Warner Brothers in 2006, and unhappy with the results and creative differences, he parted ways before the label released his completed album.
Staying in tune with his fans via Facebook and Twitter, Khalifa kept the buzz buzzing, only to be picked up by Atlantic midway through 2010. Within that gap, Khalifa dropped two self-released albums — 2006’s ‘Show and Prove’ and 2009’s ‘Deal or No Deal’ — and half a dozen mixtapes, including the Twitter trending ‘Kush and Orange Juice.’ As he told the BoomBox, “I’ve been putting out mixtapes foreeeeever.”
“I worked real hard to get to this point,” Khalifa told the BoomBox earlier this year, “so now, I feel like, this is the biggest point for me.”
Watch Wiz Khalifa’s ‘Black and Yellow’