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What happened to Wiz Khalifa?

What happened to Wiz Khalifa?

Wiz Khalifa is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and actor who burst onto the hip hop scene in the late 2000s with hits like “Black and Yellow” and “Young, Wild & Free.” He quickly became one of the most popular rappers in the world, known for his laidback flow and weed-centric lyrics. However, after reaching new heights of fame around 2010-2012, Wiz began to fade from the spotlight. So what exactly happened to Wiz Khalifa and where is he now in 2023?

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Wiz Khalifa was born Cameron Jibril Thomaz in 1987 in Minot, North Dakota. His parents were in the military and divorced when he was three years old. Wiz moved around a lot as a child, living in Germany, the UK and Japan due to his parents’ military service. As a teenager living in Pittsburgh, Wiz adopted the stage name “Khalifa” meaning “successor” in Arabic.

Wiz got his start by self-releasing several mixtapes in the mid-2000s, carving out a fanbase in the Pittsburgh area. His first major label single “Say Yeah” came out in 2007, followed by his debut album “Show and Prove” in 2006. Through the late 2000s, Wiz released a steady stream of mixtapes and singles, slowly building buzz.

Breakthrough with Rolling Papers

Wiz Khalifa’s big breakthrough came in 2011 with the release of his major label debut album “Rolling Papers.” Propelled by the hugely popular single “Black and Yellow” which became an anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the album debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts. “Rolling Papers” ended up being certified double platinum, while “Black and Yellow” topped the charts and went 7x platinum.

Other major hits from the album included “Roll Up” and “No Sleep.” Wiz established himself as a master of laidback, melodic rap with a knack for massive pop hooks. His weed-heavy lyrics also resonated with legions of fans. Rolling Papers marked Wiz’s arrival as a rap superstar.

Continued Success with O.N.I.F.C.

Riding high off the success of Rolling Papers, Wiz kept his momentum going in 2012. He founded his own record label, Taylor Gang Records, and released the massively popular single “Young, Wild & Free” featuring Snoop Dogg and Bruno Mars. The song peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went double platinum.

In December 2012, Wiz released his second major label album O.N.I.F.C. which debuted at #2 on the charts. It featured hits like “Work Hard, Play Hard” and the title track “Remember You” featuring The Weeknd. O.N.I.F.C. further cemented Wiz as one of the kings of relaxed, melodic rap with widespread pop appeal. He seemed to be reaching new heights of fame and success with each release.

Decline in Popularity

After the peak of his fame around 2011-2012, the next several years saw a gradual decline in popularity for Wiz Khalifa. His follow up album “Blacc Hollywood” arrived in 2014 and debuted at #1 on the charts. But it failed to produce a major hit single and quickly slid down the charts.

Critic and fan reactions to the album were mixed. While Wiz still had a devoted fanbase, he was no longer generating the same level of excitement and buzz he had just two years prior. Singles like “We Dem Boyz” and “You and Your Friends” performed modestly but didn’t come close to matching his previous chart-toppers.

Wiz also began receiving more criticism from hip hop fans who felt his lyrics lacked depth and all he rapped about was weed. As newer rappers arrived on the scene in the mid 2010s, Wiz’s brand of chill, pop-infused rap began to feel stale to some.

Continuing to Release New Music

Though Wiz Khalifa was no longer the chart dominator he was in 2011-2012, he has continued releasing new music steadily over the past decade. His 2015 album “Khalifa” debuted at #1 but again failed to match his previous commercial heights. In 2018 he dropped the album “Rolling Papers 2” which reunited him with pop producer Stargate. However the album received mediocre reviews.

Throughout the late 2010s Wiz focused more on collaborations, appearing on songs with artists like Ty Dolla $ign, Juicy J, and Logic. He started releasing shorter project like mixtapes and EPs including “Laugh Now, Fly Later” (2019) and “The Saga of Wiz Khalifa” (2019).

Wiz also stayed busy with non-music projects like his mobile game “Wiz Khalifa’s Weed Farm” and partnerships with brands like Raw Rolling Papers. He has leveraged his love of weed to build a brand outside of music.

Recent Projects

Lately, Wiz Khalifa has been focused on a few other ventures outside of standard music releases. In 2021, he started his own cannabis company called Khalifa Kush which sells various marijuana products. Wiz has called it a “dream come true” to start his own legal cannabis company.

Wiz released the album “Multiverse” in 2022 which featured other hip hop artists like Girl Talk. He described the collaborative album as a “love letter” to his fans and hip hop culture. While it didn’t make a major chart impact, his devoted fanbase was happy to receive new music from the veteran rapper.

Outside of music, Wiz starred in the Apple TV+ movie “The Afterparty” in 2022 and appeared on shows like “American Dad!” He has also discussed plans for more film and TV projects, along with a cookbook focused on healthy munchies recipes.

Style and Influence

Style Key Characteristics
Flow Smooth, melodic, laidback
Beats Hazy, chilled out
Lyrics Cannabis, relationships, partying
Image Laidback, tattooed, “stoner cool”

At his peak, Wiz Khalifa became one of the most recognizable and influential rappers of the early 2010s. Hissignature smooth, melodic flow and penchant for weed-focused lyrics spawned countless imitators and helped shape hip hop’s sound and direction for years. Wiz proved that rap songs could still dominate the pop charts, paving the way for the many melodic rappers that followed him.

Though his own popularity has waned, Wiz left a lasting impact on hip hop and introduced his style of chilled-out, radio-ready rap to a massive audience. Newer artists like G-Eazy, Lil Skies and Lil Tecca have cited him as a major influence in blending singing and rapping. His hazy, melodic style remains a staple of popular rap music today.

Continued Dedicated Fanbase

While Wiz is no longer the chart force he once was, he still maintains a sizable and dedicated fanbase earned through over a decade of touring and music releases. He has over 30 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone.

His fans connect with his laidback persona and appreciate that Wiz has stayed true to his signature style over the years. He is renowned for his friendly, approachable attitude and consistently puts effort into fan outreach like meet-and-greets.

Wiz has built up a loyal community that still gets excited any time he drops a new project, performs live or engages with them on social media. Many longtime fans now even bring their kids to Wiz’s concerts.


In summary, Wiz Khalifa rose to become one of rap’s biggest stars in 2011-2012landing multiple #1 hits and platinum singles. But his popularity gradually fell off when his style of melodic, pop-rap stagnated and newer artists arrived on the scene.

He is no longer the hitmaker he once was and some criticize him for rapping about weed too much. However, Wiz continues releasing music for his dedicated fanbase while expanding into business ventures like his cannabis company.

He has left a lasting mark on hip hop’s sound and image. And while the hype around him has faded, Wiz Khalifa remains a beloved veteran with a ride-or-die fanbase always ready to support his latest ventures. His laidback charm and musical style continue to delight his longtime listeners.