Wiz has done what so many young spitters dream of, but only a select few actually pull off: He’s evolved from local star to indie signee to Internet celebrity to major-label superstar.
There’s Chevy Woods, Wiz’s longtime friend and trusty sidekick. There’s Benjy Grinberg, founder and CEO of Pittsburgh rap powerhouse Rostrum Records. It’s been a busy day for Benjy since both of the tour’s headliners, Wiz and Mac Miller, are signed to Rostrum.
Then there’s Brian Brick, owner of the clothing store Timebomb, a staple of Pittsburgh hip-hop and one of the first places to sell Rocawear, Phat Farm, and Ecko in the City of Steel. There’s a little bit of all of them in Wiz, who is, after all, a fully tatted stoner rapper entrepreneur whose come-up put Pittsburgh hip-hop on the map.
Brick and Wiz are discussing one of Wiz’s favorite groups, Three 6 Mafia. “There are kids these days who don’t even know Juicy J’s old shit,” says Wiz. “Before, Juicy was cadences, he’s more lyrical now.” Though he’s down with the Taylor Gang, Juicy’s headlining the Smokers Club Tour today. But an unexpected guest has come by to hang out: J. Cole.
Produced by Ricky P.
Wiz Khalifa linked up with 50 Cent for “Telescope”. This track will be on Wiz’s upcoming mixtape O.N.I.C. (Aug 28th).
“I’m all self-taught. Everything I’ve picked up I didn’t know how to use it before I started.”
by Rory D. Webb
“I was always interested in music,” says the Hazelwood-born Sledgren. “I didn’t really want to be an artist, but I wanted to play a part in the music.”
And it looks like he has: If you’ve listened to many of Wiz Khalifa’s mixtapes, you’ve likely heard Wiz calling out “Sledgro!” — a shout-out to his producer.
It started with a music course he took in ninth grade in Jackson, Mich., where the 28-year-old Sledgren (born Edward Murray) spent his high school years. “A few years later, I got MTV’s Music Generator,” he recalls. “I was a big video-game head, and that was a video game with music software.”
Returning to Pittsburgh soon after high school, he began frequenting local studios with a fellow Hazelwood native, rapper Chevy Woods, a frequent Wiz tourmate and integral part of the Taylor Gang.
For the final leak off of Tolly and Sledgren’s collaborative EP entitled Beat Knock they bring you “Starter Kit” featuring Three 6 Mafia and Taylor Gang’s own Juicy J. The track finds Tolly and Juicy going in on a hard, bouncy Sledgren production. This isn’t the first time Tolly and Juicy have collaborated before so expect more in the future. Beat Knock premieres tomorrow on DatPiff at 1 pm! Follow Tolly, Sledgren, and Juicy J on Twitter @TOLLYBANDZ @ImSledgren @therealjuicyj.
follow @tollybandz @imsledgren
This issue of The Source will be available on newsstands on May 8! In it Wiz talks about his upcoming album O.N.I.C.F. , his fiance Amber Rose and more.