This Week’s Main Pick
Street King: Wiz Khalifa
Holding It Down For: Pittsburgh
Mixtape: Kush & Orange Juice
Real Spit: Here’s the breakdown if you’re late to the party: “The Jets” support Curren$y, while “The Taylor Gang” supports Curren$y’s partner-in-rhyme, Wiz Khalifa.
“With no Taylor Gang, the plane don’t fly,” Wiz told Mixtape Daily, sitting in one of his favorite Pittsburgh eateries.
Wiz has had a strong buzz the past few years on the mixtape circuit, and many fans are calling his recently released Kush & Orange Juice his best effort thus far.
“I named the mixtape Kush & Orange Juice because, in a nutshell, I tried to match up a name that goes perfect with the tape,” Wiz said. “It’s perfect for wake-and-bake, if that’s what you’re into. Anybody who knows me knows that’s what I specialize in. It came out Kush & Orange Juice. That’s the formula. Fruits and vegetables. The tape is heavily inspired by all different types of herbs and wonderful green things that make us grow.”
The tape’s throwback cover was inspired by the artwork for David Ruffin’s 1970s opus Gentleman Ruffin. Dave’s music was just some of the inspiration Wiz caught wind of in the ’Burgh. He described his hometown as a big city with a small-town vibe.
“Growing up in Pittsburgh was great,” Wiz said. “It’s a town like no other. Everybody knows everybody. If I don’t know you, then my parents probably know your parents. Then me and you wind up meeting each other and getting cool. Just being in places like this, everybody knows everybody. I’ve been coming here since I was a teenager. I show them respect, they show us love.
“Everything is everything,” he added of his beloved P-Town. “The support factor of having a whole city on my back and people who care about what I’m doing. We support the Steelers. The same way we support our sports, they support me, so it’s Kush & OJ. Taylor Gang or die!”
Joints to Check For
» “Mesmerized.” “My man Carlo did that beat. Taylor Gang or die. You know what it is,” he said. “That song is about keeping it G, in a nutshell. Can’t really say too much about it. When they see it, they recognize and they’re mesmerized.”
» “Never Been” “My man Sledgerin did that beat,” Wiz said. “The beat comes on crazy with that. It’s a totally different vibe. So lyrically, I had to step it up on my end and take it on some Taylor Gang, Khalifa business. That’s what I did. Once again, heavily, herbily inspired. That’s a wake-and-bake classic. Bow!”
» “The Kid Frankie.” “I rapped over this Loose Ends beat. It’s a track from the ’80s, ’Hanging on a String.’ ’The Kid Frankie’ was inspired by a movie that me and my man Spitta be watchin’. Shout-out to Spitta. Jets/ Taylor Gang. But the movie ’The Business,’ there was this guy named Frankie, and his old head homie called him ’The Kid Frankie.’ They was riding around Spain listening to Loose Ends. Frankie said, ’It’s better to be somebody for one day than to be a nobody for your whole life.’ ”