I’ve noticed a big change in your music sonically over the last two years. You really focused in on the melodies and switched to a more organic hip-hop sound versus the dance influenced material you released with Warner early in your career.
It was definitely a conscious thing. I just wanted to gear people back toward some of the things that I felt where my best qualities, which are my lyrical capabilities and strength in my melodies and harmonies. And my beat selection, but my music always been me, but I was just playing with a lot of different things. It all got me to where I’m at now.
That really reflects in your fanbase, do you ever wonder why you are able to draw such diverse fans?
I never wonder. My music and just my mentality has always been that everybody is a regular person. 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. I’m just happy that my music reflects that in my fanbase.
Did you ever face criticism for not being “hood” enough in your music?
Not really because Pittsburgh is pretty set. There’s just poor and rich. There’s rich black people and white hoods and vice versa. So I knew both sides from a young age. I’ve heard people say I’m not hood enough in Pittsburgh before but I’m just here to do something different. I never paid it no attention. Then all of a sudden you are hood enough when you got arrested. [laughs]
Do you think the authorities were unfairly targeting you?
They were just trying to make an example out of me, scare me basically. They know a lot of the charges won’t stick. But to get the headlines they threw extra stuff on there.
Yea, it’s pretty obvious you’re not out there touring the country to sell weed. Any tips for your fans to not get busted at a Wiz Khalifa show.
Hide it, hide it good. And if they find it, have a good lawyer. [laughs] In my case, it was just weed, nothing else. I didn’t have crack or any pills. There are way worse things, the cops jus exaggerated everything. So I’m not in big trouble, the media is jus tripping off it. But it’s cool though, it comes with the territory.
Do you ever think you’ll give up the green?
Well, I’m licensed to carry weed in those states that allow it. So unless it has to do with my freedom, I’ll always be smoking.