Even before he collected the Best New Artist trophy at the BET Awards last night (June 26), Wiz Khalifa had already pretty much cemented his place in the hip hop community.
It must have been a surreal moment for an artist to be named the best “new” artist when he has been steadily in the game for around six years now! His first real single, “Say Yeah”, was released way back in 2007, and he already had two albums under his belt before this year’s Rolling Papers. But the numbers (not to mention a major label studio album) can sometimes make all the difference – Rolling Papers hit Number 1 in both the R&B and Rap charts, and it peaked at Number Two on the overall Billboard 200.
And the fact that Wiz’s first two singles from Rolling Papers, the infectious “Black and Yellow” and the Euro-synthy “Roll Up”, both went platinum no doubt had a big influence on his victory at last night’s awards ceremony.
Aligning himself with a nearly endless list of other award-winning artists doesn’t hurt either! The Pittsburgh-born Chuck Taylor enthusiast has been featured on a ton of other great tracks with equally gifted artists, such as Cee Lo Green, Far East Movement, Soulja Boy, Wale, Rick Ross, Chris Brown, Lil’ Kim, Tinie Tempah, Chiddy Bang, and… well, I could go on all day! Mix that kind of experience with nine mixtape releases, not to mention appearing in no less than 35 music videos, it was only a matter of time before the 23-year-old started collecting some serious hardware and recognition for his contributions to the industry. And how can you not love this guy’s easy-going attitude and contagious grin? He reminds me of Snoop in his prime.
I can’t wait to see what else this kid has in store for the genre. Now that he’s broken out of the background and into the spotlight, the sky’s the limit!
Check out his latest single, “On My Level” ft. Too Short (NSFW!).