Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Khalifa surprised by single success

Rapper Wiz Khalifa has had a hit on both sides of the Atlantic with Black And Yellow
Rapper Wiz Khalifa has had a hit on both sides of the Atlantic with Black And Yellow

Wiz Khalifa has been surprised by the success of his massive hit single Black And yellow.

The track, which pays homage to his hometown American football team the Pittsburgh Steelers, has had big chart success on both sides of the Atlantic. It has also been remixed by some of rap's elite, from Lil Wayne to Snoop Dogg, to salute their own favourite teams.

"People are really paying attention to it," Wiz said. "There's this version and that version. It helped out a lot to catch people up really fast who were like, 'Who is Wiz Khalifa?'."

He wasn't the only one surprised by the outcome.

"We all felt good about the record. But I've got to be honest, I don't think anybody thought it was going to be the number one record," says Tor Erik Hermansen of the hit-making Norwegian production duo Stargate, who produced the song. "We were all pleasantly surprised."

The 23-year-old has also seen his latest album Rolling Papers debut this week at number two on the US album charts with more than 198,000 copies sold, putting him right behind Britney Spears.

Wiz was born in North Dakota and grew up as a military kid, living in different countries from Japan to Germany before putting down his roots in the blue-collar city of Pittsburgh.

And he said his childhood gave him a broader perspective of the world's various cultures.

"It helped me (learn) how to deal with different people, being able to interact with other kids," he says. "Just having those different walks of life, from living on base then in the city and real world. It gives you a better understanding of how people's minds work."

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