Last year, Wiz Khalifa parted ways with Warner Bros. and hit the independent scene hard. This year, after selling out shows and boosting his Taylor Gang following with the standout mixtape Kush & OJ, the “Hottest Breakthough MC of 2010″ has kept the hip-hop scene buzzing about whether he’s ready to call another major label home. During his “RapFix Live” interview with MTV News’ Sway on Friday (July 30), the upstart rapper put all of the rumors to rest and confirmed that he is inking a deal with Atlantic Records.
“Yeah, I’m signing to Atlantic,” Khalifa said. “We’ve been working on it for a minute. I wanted to make sure that I had records that I was comfortable with before I went to any label or any situation. I wanted to make sure I had my direction so when I take it to them it’s like, ‘Let’s go.’ ”
Although Khalifa languished on the shelf during his last stint as a major-label artist, the MC assured fans that he’s ready to tackle any setbacks that may delay his music this time around.
“I’m pretty sure all those kinks are worked out and I don’t think I’m [going to have] any problem with working out any kinks that could present themselves,” Khalifa said. “Since I was younger I’ve been making the best out of nothing.”
The lyricist revealed that while he’s already got some songs in the can, he and his label are still hammering out which track will be the first single. “We got like two or three records that [we're] tossing around. It’s just the order of it,” Khalifa said. “Right now there’s one ["Black and Yellow"] that’s gonna be real big for Pittsburgh. That’s gonna be the Steelers anthem,” Khalifa said confidently.
Hip-hop fans have also been buzzing about a possible matchup between Khalifa and Rick Ross. The Miami Bawse handpicked the rising star, along with his sometime partner-in-rhyme Curren$y, to jump on a remix of his track “Super High” and even propositioned Wiz about joining the Maybach Music family. When Ross stopped by the MTV Newsroom for his “RapFix Live” broadcast on July 23, Ricky Rozay asked Khalifa about coming to his label in a “Pass the Mic” segment.
“What would it take for us to close the deal, Wiz Khalifa, Maybach Music?” Ross asked via video.
After checking out the tape, Khalifa appeared floored by Ross’ offer but nimbly skirted the question.
“It’s a huge honor for him to even extend a hand like that. [It's] crazy for him to even look out like that. Me and Ross is always gonna be working, I think,” Khalifa said. “He sees my vision. I think he gets what I’m trying to do. Even if it ain’t no paperwork between me and Ross, it’s gonna be work done between me and Ross.”
Regardless of how any potential business partnership pans out, Khalifa applauded Ross’ progressive approach to the next wave of hip-hop artists and said the Bawse’s Wiz co-sign puts him ahead of the game.
“There’s a lot of people, I think, who had a chance to be like, ‘Wiz is my man. I’m messing with Wiz.’ I think a lot of people had that opportunity to really capitalize off of the newer generation and the younger audience and that whole influence and Ross sees that,” Khalifa said. “[He's] like, ‘I’m [going to] rock with Wiz’ so [I'm] like, ‘I rock with Ross.’ ”
What do you think about Wiz Khalifa signing with Atlantic Records? Should he collaborate with Ross? Let us know in the comments below!