American rapper, actor, singer and songwriter Khalifa broke onto the scene in the early 2000s, but what is the first song he ever made?
Wiz Khalifa wrote and performed many songs in his teens while recording at I.D. Labs studio, and released his debut mixtape in 2005 called Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania. His first single as a lead artist was “Pittsburgh Sound” which came out in 2007 on his debut studio album Show and Prove.
Before releasing huge hits like “Black and Yellow” and “Young, Wild & Free”, Khalifa had recorded for free at a studio and published several mixtapes. Let’s look at his early career and music.
Early Mixtapes and First Big Hit
Born Cameron Jibril Thomaz on the 8th of September 1987 in Minot, North Dakota, Wiz Khalifa had been an aspiring rapper from an early age. He wrote his own lyrics at just 9 years old, and started recording tracks not long after.
Growing up in high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wiz became a known artist and soon had a small following.
After recording multiple songs for free at I.D. Labs who were impressed by his lyrics and flow, 15-year-old Khalifa got into making mixtapes.
Eventually his first one came out in 2005 and was called, Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania with independent record label Rostrum Records.
Following its release, Khalifa started moving closer towards the spotlight.
Recognition for his premier mixtape led to his first studio album, Show and Prove (2006), which had his first official single as a lead artist called “Pittsburgh Sound”.
He continued dropping mixtapes, coming out with Grow Season and Prince of the City 2 in 2007 – the latter a follow-up of his first mixtape. It was around this time that Rostrum Records made a shared deal with Warner Bros. Records.
Soon enough, Khalifa decided to drop three singles during 2007 and 2008, which weren’t part of any album. These were called “Youngin’ on His Grind”, “Make it Hot” and “Say Yeah”.
“Say Yeah” was arguably the start of his mainstream success, as it was his first song to get onto the charts. It appeared on Billboard’s US Rap charts at No. 20.
Finding His Footing
2009 came around, and Khalifa launched his second studio album, Deal or No Deal. It was just after he announced that he would be leaving Warner Bros. Records in July that same year.
It was a cordial spit that Khalifa made in order to push his career forward at a faster rate, which wasn’t happening at the time of crafting his upcoming album.
“I feel like [Warner Bros.] lost interest in the project,” he said. “All the original people that were over there when I first got signed ended up getting fired, so there was no one in the building that had the same feeling toward the project that we did.”
He also explained how he did not regret his time at Warner, and that it was a matter of changing times and needs.
“The situation didn’t work out because the game changed. Everything changes so you have to be able to adapt and adjust, and always work for yourself and don’t let nobody hustle harder for you than you hustle for yourself,” he said.
“Black and Yellow”, Wiz’s first global hit, came out in 2010. It peaked No. 1 in the US, No. 7 in Canada, and No. 5 in the UK.
The song was part of his third album, Rolling Papers, and was written by himself and a songwriting team called Stargate.
His most successful song, in terms of its ranking on worldwide charts, was “See You Again” featuring Charlie Puth. It peaked No. 1 in 8 countries.
As of 2020, he has released 69 singles, with 37 of those as a featured rapper, 16 promotional singles, 17 mixtapes, 6 albums, and 82 music videos.