This isn’t the same Wiz Khalifa you think you once knew.
The artist, who once rapped over tracks like “Young, Wild & Free,” is feeling the liberation himself, now taking the ornate sounds that he’d always envisioned and weaving them into the fabric of his new album Multiverse, out everywhere today.
The album is a journey into the serene, taking us through lush fields and atmospheric passages on tracks like “We Don’t Go Out To Nightclubs Anymore/Candlelight Girl.” It’s a hefty update to his sound, one that’s propped up by a handful of R&B grooves lilting away in the background as his versatile vocal performances come centerstage, bouncing from being braggadocious on tracks like “Bad Ass Bitches” and “Iced Out Necklace” to its emotive heights on tracks like “Homies” and “Like You (Groove 3).”
Khalifa is taking this updated sound with him on the road as he embarks on his “Vinyl Verse Summer Tour,” co-headlining it with Logic, who’s coming off of the release of an album of his own with Vinyl Days. It’s also arriving with a slew of opening acts — including DJ DRAMA, C Dot Castro and Fedd the God as well as 24KGoldn on select dates — who’ll be following him through 28 different cities all the way to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis, Missouri as they wrap it all up on September 2.
To celebrate the release of his new album and the kick-off of his tour, we sat down with Khalifa to chat about everything from the music itself to, of course, weed and shrooms — the latter of which he just took his first foray into earlier this year.
This is your first full-length album since 2018. What’s it be like to be back for the project this long?
It feels real good! I'm super excited to be releasing music. I've worked a lot on the project so just for it to come out in its entirety exactly how I want it to is just really exciting.
The album takes us through some pretty serene and sultry textures. The beats are given up momentarily for those shimmering instrumentals. How did those sonic choices come into play?
It just kind of developed on its own. It was something that I always wanted to do and was interested in but never really knew how to pull off. I never had the time to myself to just create that sound that was relevant to me, and I think with all of my projects, I try to dive in and take people on a journey sonically and what I feel like music should sound like, and this is a perfect representation of my take on music right now.
You said it feels relevant to you. Why is that?
To me, it's just because it's different than everything else that’s out right now. It gives the people who listen to it an opportunity to really enjoy music on a different level and still be elevated. It's not anything that's underground or is just going to get looked past. People are going to find that it’s exactly what they needed.
You're co-headlining the Vinyl Verse tour with Logic and some pretty spectacular opening acts! How did that lineup come to be?
We really just go off of who we see as being next up and then who we mess with in our own crews. We have artists that we're trying to break and we're trying to bring to a bigger platform, so these tours are a really good opportunity to put people in markets that they might not see otherwise.
What's it like releasing and promoting Multiverse in the middle of your tour and what challenges has that posed for you?
It’s no challenges for me! It's perfectly fine, man! I love this shit. This is basically where I'm best at — marketing myself and making sure that people get the right vision of what it's supposed to be. I work really, really hard on the music side, so now that that's finished, I get to focus on promoting and actually bringing the project to life. There's nobody better to do it than me! Being on tour and being in front of people — 20,000 or however many thousand people a night — it gives me even more of an opportunity to just sell myself and show people why they should support the music!
When you launched Khalifa Kush in 2016, that pretty much put you on the forefront of the music industry's growing partnerships with the cannabis industry, which is one of the biggest trends currently. What was it about the cannabis industry that made you want to be a part of it all the way back in 2016?
Well, Berner put me on the game since I met him back in 2010, and this is something that he's been telling me is going to happen for a really long time. It was really just about the laws being safe enough for us to maneuver and to do the things that we need to do. Also, it just gave time to build the brand and give people something to expect, and I feel like it all just worked out perfectly.
While things were changing, we stayed grinding and we stayed moving and grooving. We tried some things, and some things fell through and other things stuck, but now we're at the point where it's not going anywhere. It's only expanding and getting bigger and bigger! And like you said, there’s people who are going to follow suit, but if you haven’t put in the work or the time, it’s not even the same type of thing.
I fuck with everybody who’s in the weed industry, but it’s just a little bit different when you know exactly how it's going and and how to maneuver through it, so having people like Berner and then all my business partners as well put me in a really good space in the cannabis world.
Where do you see that synergy between music and cannabis going in the future?
I don't know. I think it's not a separate thing, but just because there's so much advertising and marketing in music, they really still don’t fuck with weed like that because you can't advertise certain things and weed at the same time. I run into my own obstacles, but I don't give a fuck and I built my own brand. I’m valuable without those corporations. It sets me apart, but for other people who need those people's help, cannabis might not be the thing for you.
You're venturing into psilocybin and mushrooms right now with Mistercap. What inspired that move?
Doing hella shrooms and maneuvering through that world! People have been researching it for years and it wasn't anything that I thought would become as acceptable or promoted as it is, but people found out how to microdose and they just went batshit crazy! I'm all for it and the benefits of it are hella good. I’m just supporting that and trying to be the face of the new wave that’s coming on. I'm always about just making it safe and making it accessible, so I’m just trying to do what I can for that world as well.
Do you see the music industry taking to that on the same level that they did with cannabis?
I feel like with shrooms, it's just a more mental health thing, and anybody who's trying to tap in or get to the next level or understand themselves, they’ll at least do the research and figure it out. As far as the music industry goes, those fools are on the shit ton of other drugs, so I don't really care if they do mushrooms or not! This is for people who need real help.
You're looking to expand Mistercap throughout the US, Europe and Canada by the end of the year. What does that path like for you?
It's just like any other thing. It develops, and especially with the laws changing as far as what’s recreational and what's not, you'll just see different versions of the same thing. There's going to be mushrooms that have no psilocybin in them, and as the laws change, then you'll be able to get a little bit more trippy. So just ride the wave and see where it goes. We’re just going to capitalize off of the bets and the safest moves.
What else is in store for you right now?
That's pretty much what we working on. Music and the tour is number one because that's what's right in front of us. I do a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff — whether it's executive producing shows, writing my own TV shows, or starring in animated stuff — so we're going to do a lot more of that too as time goes on. Just building and staying on brand is the main goal.
Photography: Braden Walker
- Lil Wayne Tested His Own Weed Products - PAPER ›
- Wiz Khalifa's Collaboration With Happy Socks Is Here - PAPER ›
- THEY. Premieres 'What I Know Now' With Wiz Khalifa - PAPER ›