Wiz Khalifa - main pub 2 - Miko Lim

Maranda Pleasant: What inspires you? What really makes you feel alive?

Wiz Khalifa: I’m inspired by other people’s creativity, for sure, just seeing things happen and wondering where they come from. That gets my mind going. Even if it’s just wanting to know how something works. I was always really into that as a kid, like putting stuff together and taking it apart. Small ideas that turn into big ideas – that really inspires me.

MP: What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in this life? What is one thing that you try to live by?

WK: To always stay invested in myself and my own future and to always work on me as well as other people.

MP: What has been one of your biggest struggles so far?

WK: Right now, probably my biggest struggle is not being able to spend as much time with my family as I want to. I have a son and a wife, and I really enjoy my family life as much as I enjoy my career, but there are times where my career just kind of overpowers, and they have to be really very understanding of it. I appreciate them for that. That’s probably the hardest part about everything.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, or if there was some universal message you wish everyone could hear, what would that be?

WK: Smoke weed every day.

MP: Well, we’re based in Colorado, so we’re going to keep that in.

WK: Perfect!

MP: You’ll have to come visit. How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a routine? Do you have something that grounds you?

WK: Music really helps me stay centered. I can listen to music and forget about any issue that I have at that point.

MP: Do you work out? Is there something you do to clear your head? Do you run or meditate or anything like that?

WK: I skate. I smoke weed, of course. That’s like meditation for me. Watching movies is a really good escape as well. I don’t really work out or anything like that, but I absolutely enjoy playing basketball and stuff—that’s fun. I haven’t gotten to do it as much as I want to. But yeah, I do physical things when I can.

MP: What is one truth that you know for certain?

WK: That you can take your destiny into your own hands.

MP: What are some of your latest projects that you’re passionate about?

WK: I just dropped a mixtape that’s called 28 Grams. It’s basically just twenty-eight fun songs that are full-energy and just like anthems for the summer. I’m really proud of that because of how we put it together and how we put it out. Also, my album, Blacc Hollywood, that’s going to drop later on this summer, I’m really confident in that. It’s just one of my best projects and a really good explanation of where I’m at in my life.

MP: When you create, where do you pull from?

WK: I feel like it’s already there. It already exists. It’s just up to me to get high enough to find it.

MP: I definitely see a theme here! What are some causes on the planet that you’re concerned about or involved with?

WK: There’s not too many of them that I make myself involved with at this point, because there’s not much I can do, but I’m really concerned with Africa and the class difference over there. A lot of people don’t know the culture shock of how you can be in a rich area and then be in poverty. People don’t know how different it is over there. There are certain neighborhoods in America like that—like in Pittsburgh, where I’m from—where people wouldn’t think it’s even livable for human beings. Those are the areas that I connect with because I come from places like that, and I just think it’s interesting how the rest of the world acts like it doesn’t exist. But a lot of the best things come from there. You get a lot of the hardest workers, the most creative people, the best ideas. So, just knowing that moving forward, I would definitely like to get into the cause of trying to help bring those people out.

MP: How old are you, by the way?

WK: I’m twenty-six.

MP: If you could go back and talk to your fifteen-year-old self, is there something you would tell yourself that you wish you had known back then?

WK: Nah, I believe that you go through your past and you learn what you learn for whatever reason. I’m just glad I’m not making fifteen-year-old mistakes at twenty-six—I got that out of the way.

MP: [Laughs.] You might be the only one. I meet some forty-five-year-olds making fifteen-year-old mistakes. Did you grow up poor?

WK: Not poor but definitely not fortunate. I didn’t have the nicer things. I had to go out and get them.

MP: How do you think that shaped you?

WK: It just let me know the importance of working hard. It let me know that material things are not the most important things in the world. There are other things that can hold you over and can still make you happy.

MP: Definitely. I did grow up very poor, and it made my work ethic more intense.

WK: You take it more serious.

MP: What does love represent?

WK: Love represents a lot of things. You can be in love with someone, you can be in love with something. You don’t know why you love something so much, you just do. You gravitate towards it and then you figure it out later. That’s really love to me.

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PHOTO: MIKO LIM

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