Wiz Khalifa Explains Why Rolling Papers Has Few Collabos

'I figured with my first album I could accomplish establishing my own identity,' Wiz tells MTV News.

Wiz Khalifa is riding high. The Pittsburgh rapper’s debut, Rolling Papers, sold 197,000 copies in its first week of release, enough to land the album at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart.

For Wiz, the success is made sweeter because although the album’s biggest hit so far is the Stargate-produced “Black and Yellow,” nearly half of the production on the record was provided by longtime Khalifa producers and collaborators I.D. Labs.

“Other than making sure that my people that I came up with get filthy rich, I wanted to keep the sound consistent,” Wiz told MTV News about using his in-house team of beatmakers. “I wanted to really stick with what I know and build on that, other than getting in the position and completely switching. Take it to the next level was more what I had in mind.”

Another familiar industry name made the album in spite of the fact that he, too, wasn’t in Wiz’s immediate circle.

“We decided to add Too Short on ‘On My Level’ when we were deciding to do the video,” Wiz said of the first song he recorded for the album. “I wanted to do something bigger than just doing a video with me ’cause people were used to that at that time. So I was like, ‘Let’s just use our powers and holla at Too Short.’

“I’ve always been a big fan, ya know,” Wiz explained. “So when we did it, he knocked it straight out, which was a big deal for me. And then he was with getting in the video; that was really big for me too.”

The only other featured rappers on Rolling Papers are Taylor Gang member Chevy Woods on “Star of the Show” and New Orleans MC Curren$y on “Rooftops.” Despite major co-signs from star MCs like Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg, Wiz made a conscious decision to keep the album’s guest list to a minimum.

“I trimmed it down and I just kept it regular because I wanted to save that suspense of me working with these other artists and making these huge records,” Wiz said. “I wanted to save that. I figured with my first album I could accomplish establishing my own identity and that’s what I really wanted to do with this music and when that happens, I can do all that other stuff.”

What’s your favorite Wiz collabo on Rolling Papers? Tell us in the comments!