Wiz Khalifa is on the 33-city High Road Summer Tour with longtime friend and collaborator Snoop Dogg. (Anouk Morgan) " width="850" height="478">
Wiz Khalifa is on the 33-city High Road Summer Tour with longtime friend and collaborator Snoop Dogg. (Anouk Morgan)
Wiz Khalifa is coming to town. The 28-year-old Pittsburgh rapper (whose given name is Cameron Thomaz) made his debut in 2006 with his Pennsylvania-centric album “Show and Prove.”
Since, the MC and songwriter has picked up 10 Grammy nominations, won awards from Billboard and BET, and had both his albums and singles hit multi-platinum status.
His sixth official studio LP, simply titled “Khalifa,” was released in February, and the sequel to his 2011 breakthrough, “Rolling Papers,” is expected before year’s end.
Snoop Dogg with Wiz Khalifa
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Sleep Train Amphiteatre, 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista
It’s safe to say what the overall theme of the show is going to be, but with the two stars performing both together and separately every night, plenty of standout moments are sure to shine through the thick, hazy canopy of smoke.
DSD recently took part in a conference call with Khalifa, where he spoke on various topics, from his relationship with Snoop Dogg to his pre-show rituals.
Here’s what he had to say about ...
Finally hitting the road with Snoop
“It was my feeling that we should have gotten on the road for a long time. But at the end of last year, being that I did a rock ‘n roll tour with Fall Out Boy, I wanted to do something that was more oriented towards my core audience. Doing something with Snoop just felt like, I mean, it just felt like the perfect opportunity to bring me and Snoop together and make it a great fan experience too.”
Musical inspiration on tour
“Really, just having fun throughout the summer has been inspiring my music - remembering the thoughts of being a kid and not having much to do, and remembering how important music is to that whole process. It’s going to be cool being able to provide those vibes from the stage, but also keeping that in mind as what’s creating the vision.”
Dealing with outside “noise”
“I wouldn’t say it really affects me. I feel like that comes with any job with a little bit of scrutiny, so the amount that I deal with, that’s just what I have on my plate. But I don’t let it alter my mood or any moves that I make. I just continue to do me.”
Hearing Snoop for the first time
“I remember hearing Snoop’s music in ’93, when it first came out, when West Coast rap was really hardcore, or looked at as hardcore. But it was something that I gravitated toward just because of the generally smooth sound of it. There’s nobody else in the game like Snoop, so just having that history and being able to grow up listening to his music, and then being able to meet him and be an acquaintance of his is really cool. But the fact that he’s still going and still adding to his legacy is super dope.”
Remembering when the pair first worked together
“The first song was called ‘That Good,’ and we shot a video for it as well. The way it went was I just showed up to his crib. We wanted to make some music. I have producers who I’ve always worked with and I’ve been comfortable picking selections of beats with because they know what I love. And Snoop being awesome, he was just like, pick a beat out, and I picked one of the beats. I never really heard it before, I just went to a folder that I had in my email, and I picked a beat. I put it on, I played it, and it took me about 10 or 15 seconds, and I wrote the hook. Then I went and laid the hook, and he told me that it sounded like Nate Dogg, so that really made me super confident. Then he wrote his verse. Of course, he wrote it faster than I wrote mine. He wrote his verse in 12 seconds, went in there and rapped it, and then I went in right after him, laid my verse, and did a bridge after that. If you listen to it, pretty much the order that the song is in is how it was recorded. That was our first in-studio collaboration.”
What makes the pair such a good fit
“Aside from the obvious, our love for music, our love for our fans, our love for just the people around us, seeing people be good at what they do, it just brings out the best in everybody. That’s what tours like this do.”
“I usually just smoke a lot of pot and listen to some music.”
Perspective on career so far
“I’m really happy where I’m at, being that I’ve been 10 years in the game. My goal, since I was younger, was to always be able to reinvent myself, and I think that with the time that I’ve been doing this, I’ve done a great job of inventing and reinventing. I still give people a lot of hope for what’s next, so I’m happy.”