Khalifa performing Under the Influence Tour 2012 in Toronto.
|Birth name||Cameron Jibril Thomaz|
|Born||(1987-09-08) September 8, 1987
Minot, North Dakota, U.S.
|Origin||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
I don’t consider myself an A-list celebrity or a big dog, but every time I meet somebody, even rappers who’ve been in the game for years… they’re like, ‘Man, I’m trying to get on your level.’
Yeah, baggy jeans are done. Nobody wants to wear big, baggy jeans. Baggy jeans are completely over with.
When you’re from the East Coast or you’re from the South, people expect you to sound a certain way. So if you don’t sound that way, people won’t label you as that type of artist. For me, I had a whole new lane to create for myself being from Pittsburgh and being a Midwest artist.
There’s people who I admire like… Dr. Dre, Puff Daddy, Master P, people who built their stuff and are still going.
‘Khalifa’ is Arabic, it means successor, leader, shining light. My granddad is Muslim and he gave me that name.
I sleep on my stomach with my head under a bunch of pillows so if someone wants to come in and try to kill me they can’t tell if I’m there or not, so they’ll just leave.
My live performance, it just comes from feeling an energy and emotion from the crowd.
I never write from concept. The beat is the beginning, and then I fill in the rest of the song into what it should be.
I’ve been pretty focused my entire life, and now that I have a family, I’m just going to keep that focus, but it’s going to be a family focus.
The most daring thing is to be yourself and to do exactly what you want to do at that point in time and not to be worried with what other people are doing or what’s popular.
Every artist picks what they want to put out there, what image they want to portray, and what they want people to know about where they’re from.
I think hip-hop is really fun right now… and that’s why people are using dance beats and singing more.
I’ve done a lot of work to get where I’m at, but I have to keep working.
Even with whatever people want to label me with, there are so many other sides to me.
Philly is more East Coast than Pittsburgh. It’s closer to New Jersey and New York, so the vibe is way more fast-paced.
I have a huge span of fans, some who know all my radio songs and are familiar with my popular stuff and then some who have their own personal favorites. When I do my show, I try to take into consideration all those people.
I think wherever you go, when people hear good music, they will react to it.
Whatever I do, I do it because I want to do it and because it’s completely, 100% me.
My dad has been a big influence on me, because he’s always had his own business. He really taught me business sense and how to be a focused individual, but also how to have fun and make everyone around you have fun.
I love my wife. We FaceTime and we talk on the phone and she travels to come see me when she can. But she works as well. But we see each other a lot more than people would think, though, because we make it happen and we love each other so much.
Just growing up in Pittsburgh and knowing different neighborhoods, having family there and just loving it, it’s like no other place.
The name ‘Wiz’ comes from me being the youngest dude in my age group of people that I hung out with. I was pretty good at anything I tried to do, so they would call me a young wiz.
I always envisioned myself being a rapper and being in the game and having success, but you never know what it feels like or how you’re going to be when you’re there.
You don’t have to be a certain thing to be cool. If you’re white, you don’t have to act black or whatever. Just be you and know who you are.