Ten is the magic number. And no, Wiz Khalifa does not have ten Lamborghinis or ten luxuriously sprawling estates. Nor does he have ten private jets to fly him from coast to coast and back ten times. However, he does have ten Grammy Award nominations and that almost takes the cake.
A recipient of a BET award, Billboard Music Award and a Teen Choice Award, Khalifa has found success in establishing his career as a chart topper rap artist.
“He has always been a character, really…I always knew that he was going to be special. He just had a big, huge personality- he was just a little bit weird, but that was ok,” Peachie Wimbush, the mother of Khalifa, said during an interview with GLife when speaking about Khalifa as a child.
Khalifa was born on September 8, 1987 in Minot, North Dakota. A town known for its Air Force base just north of the city, it was only fitting that his military family had ties there.
Being a part of a military family required numerous relocations for Khalifa as a child. At the age of three, after Khalifa’s parents divorced, the moving began. He went from Germany, to England, to Japan, and finally settled in Pittsburgh, Penn. where he finished his high school education.
After high school is when Khalifa’s career began to take flight. He hit the ground running releasing a mixtape in 2005, a studio produced album in 2006 and a declaration of the “Artist to Watch” by the Rolling Stone later that same year.
In 2010, Khalifa released his single “Black and Yellow,” which hit No.1 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
When asked where his stage name originated from, the answer is simple and hints back to the roots of his being. ‘Wiz’ was shortened from the word ‘wisdom’. However, ‘Khalifa’ is derived from the Arabic word for ‘success.’
Wisdom and success. Two simple principles that are embodied in every fiber of Khalifa’s artistry.
“Opportunity in my face so I can’t sit back and not take advantage of it” (“Material”)