Pittsburgh rap star Wiz Khalifa and legendary Hip Hop producer Ski Beatz crossed paths in London this week and caught up at the K West hotel for a chat, captured by SoulCulture TV, discussing how they first met and came to work together on “Scaling The Building” with Curren$y, from Ski’s 2010 album 24 Hour Karate School.
“It’s like Jay-Z – When I first met Jigga then the whole wave started happening, the next thing you know he’s ‘Jay-Z.’ Now I’m looking at this kid like ‘Ok, it’s Wiz,’ but now it’s Wiz Khalifa,” Ski Beatz reflects, before going on to quiz Wiz about how he feels he has grown musically across his three albums to date, dealing with internet hate/criticism, whether his tree-filled lyrics encourage his listeners to smoke weed and what impact his need to “re-create and stay brand new’ has on his fanbase.
Watch all the action below.
“Curren$y’s like ahead of me, I feel… I feel like Spitta is ahead of the fucking game. People are gonna get it later though – and when they do they’ll be like, ‘Holy shit..’ We’re just lucky enough to understand it now.”
On similarities to Snoop Dogg:
“It’s the tall skinny-ness, smoking weedyness, smilingness, jokeyness… Pimpin’”
On being arrested for drug trafficking:
“ – Allegedly. Those charges have been dropped… The case, that was a no-go. Everybody thought it was more serious than it was.”
“I feel myself getting better lyrically, more creative as far as songwriting and sequencing and placing stuff the right way… Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s where you say it at.”
Dealing with internet hate/criticism:
“I just deal with it, man. At the end of the day I know who I am as an artist and what I started out to do. If I branch off to do a certain sound then that’s part of who I am, but I’m still this over here too – and I’m still that over there.”
“It’s part of the game and it’s really there to make you appreciate what’s important, because a lot of people get consumed in the hate and the negative energy and feel that’s outweighing the positive, but in all reality there’s more people who love me than ever; not more people who hate me.”
“There’s envy… Some people have no respect, too. You’ve gotta respect somebody’s grind who works hard. You can’t have your own personal attachment to it. I don’t make the type of music for everybody, or you might not like me or what I do but you’ve gotta understand what I work towards and where I’m at now and you can’t take that from me, because nobody just handed it to me.”
On the influence of weed rap:
“I’m not influencing people to smoke weed; I’m influencing people to be free. If our common ground is marijuana, then great.”
On his growth across three albums:
“I learned a lot more about music, I learned a lot more about myself as an artist and my fan base, and I got more free with my creations as far as just letting myself go completely. That’s a skill in itself; to not really think about what you’re doing and just do it and get the most natural out of it. I kinda just go for that and see how it works.”
On career challenges:
“Not really difficult or challenging, but I gotta keep in mind to always re-create and stay brand new. It’s easy to get comfortable when people like you for one thing… and it’s scary to change and do different shit, but I always gotta just push myself and evolve and go to the next level.
“That’s the most difficult part because you fuck with people’s heads, you kinda lose fans, you gain fans… When I say lose fans, they kinda go away for a second and then they come back when they realise what you were doing because they didn’t completely understand it.”
Filmed & Edited by: Andres Albert x Versetti
Photo by: Neil Raja