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Since surviving industry limbo to become one of the most successful rap artists of his era, Wiz Khalifa has grown into a mogul. Delivering crossover singles with rock and pop’s elite while never straying too far from his roots, the Pittsburgh native has mastered the art of brand building without sacrificing hisself or his artistry in the process. However, in addition to churning out hit records of his own, as well as his acts signed to Taylor Gang Records, Khalifa has spent much of his time in the spotlight as an ambassador of marijuana, forever waxing poetic about the joys of taking one to the face and getting faded. This has resulted in him being touted as a vanguard for all things weed-related, and cannabis becoming synonymous with his music and image.
In recognition of this, REVOLT gives a rundown of seven ways Wiz Khalifa has impacted stoner culture in hip hop.
1. Helped Popularize Rolling Papers
Throughout the ’90s and ’00s, the smoking utensil of choice for many smokers, particularly on the east coast, was a cigar or cigarillo. However, with Khalifa’s shameless promotion of rolling papers in his lyrics, the trend caught on with his devoted fanbase and spread like wildfire. This resulted in a new generation of weed enthusiasts.
2. Reintroduced Weed-Themed Albums To Hip Hop
Artists like Snoop Dogg, Cyress Hill, Devin the Dude, Dr. Dre, Method Man, Redman and others’ love for the sticky inspired their album titles, lyrical content and image during the ’90s. But, the emergence of Wiz Khalifa (and Curren$y) during the late aughts helped bring musical projects revolving around weed back to the forefront. Releasing projects with titles like How Fly, B.A.R. (Burn After Rolling), Kush & OJ and Rolling Papers; Khalifa became rap’s newest poster-child for marijuana in addition to being touted as a superstar.
3. His Khalifa Kush
While rappers have endorsed various strains of marijuana in their raps, the Philly rapper became one of the first artists to launch his own strain called Khalifa Kush. Describe as a hybrid that was bred specifically for the rap star, KK — as Khalifa often refers to the strain as — has helped inspire other artists to follow suit and look into cultivating strains of their own.
4. His Mobile App
In 2017, the star unveiled Wiz Khalifa’s Weed Farm, a new app geared toward giving users a sense of what it takes to make a foray into the marijuana industry. Released in celebration of 4/20, the free mobile game allows people to build weed farms from the ground up and reinvest their earnings to create other brands centered around the drug. Other rappers with apps aimed at the stoner in you include Method Man and Redman’s BlazeNow, and Snoop Dogg’s Eaze.
5. His Efforts Toward Marijuana Legalization
The legalization of weed has been a hot-button topic for quite some time now with various members of the hip hop community lending their voices to educate the public about the benefits of cannabis and medical marijuana. Khalifa has been at the forefront of this movement, using any and all opportunities to push for its legalization, an issue he’s spoken on publicly on various occasions throughout his career.
6. Promoting Wellness Through Marijuana
Rap artists have often been chided for drug abuse due to the amount of marijuana some partake in. But, in reality, more smokers are beginning to promote health and wellness, Khalifa being one of them. “I just think being conscious of what goes in and out of your body is [important],” he shared during an interview in 2017. “And me smoking, I think that’s probably the worst thing that I’m trying to do to my body: Put smoke in there and have it come out.” And from the looks of the rapper’s Instagram feed, which is littered with photos and clips of him working out in the gym, he appears to be walking the walk, as well as talking the talk.
7. His Partnership With RAW Papers
In 2014, the artist gave stoners in the hip hop community reason to rejoice after announcing his partnership with RAW Papers that allowed him to launch his own collections of papers, tips and trays. RAW’s creator, Josh Kesselman, spoke of Khalifa’s involvement with the brand, glowingly. “We are truly taking things to the next level of the smoking game and we’re thrilled to collaborate with Wiz as he is a key influencer in this industry,” Kesselman said after the partnership was revealed. In the years since, other rap artists have linked up with brands to manufacture their own marijuana related products including Ghostface Killah, B-Real, Yukmouth, The Game, Freddie Gibbs, and Tyga.
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