Through hard work Wiz Khalifa has risen from heralded underground rapper to hit-making star in the past year, and he addresses his ascent on his new album, Rolling Papers.
On the I.D. Labs-produced track, “The Race,” the Pittsburgh lyricist takes a smoke-filled trip down memory lane.
“I’m in the race and taking the winner’s place,” he waxes melodically on the song. “No foot on the breaks/ One of the best, homey, that’s what they call me/ It’s lonely at the top, ain’t no company/ So now I just stunt on my own, I just stunt on my own.”
“It’s a personal song without being too preachy,” Wiz told MTV News about the track as he celebrated his album’s release on Tuesday. “It really just explains how I feel at certain points. Just doing work, anyone can feel like that when you grinding from the bottom and get to a certain point. You see people who, in the beginning or middle, were riding with you, then there’s some adversity, and at the end of the day, it’s about who’s with you in the end.”
After being tapped as a rising star by Rolling Stone while he was still in high school and putting out a series of mixtapes and an independent album, the 23-year-old Wiz was soaking up his recent success as he inked his name on copies of Rolling Papers at a Best Buy in Manhattan.
“It’s totally exhilarating to see kids lined up outside, screaming, wanting the album and purchasing the album,” Wiz said. “It was actually, like, a year ago that I first started working on the album.
“I didn’t really know where I was going, but I knew I was going somewhere,” he added. “To have it done and to see the full vision and for people to be excited about it and the entire buildup, it’s just really magnificent.”
Wiz Khalifa makes his second appearance on MTV News’ “RapFix Live,” hosted by Sway on Wednesday (March 30) at 4 p.m. ET on MTV.com.