WIZ KHALIFA FACTS:
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Albums: Show and Prove (2006); Deal or No Deal (2009)
Hits: "Say Yeah," "Black and Yellow"
After becoming an internet sensation, rapper Wiz Khalifa has grown into one of the most successful up-and-coming stars in the last several years. Thanks in large part to a loyal following created on MySpace and other websites, Khalifa has certainly cemented himself as an artist to watch.
Khalifa, whose real name is Cameron Jibril Thomaz, broke onto the scene in 2006 when he released his first full length album, Show and Prove. The record failed to gain much commercial success, but was well received by nearly every critic who reviewed it.
Encouraged by the success of Show and Prove, Kahlifa released a pair of mix tapes in 2007, which expanded his appeal. However, it was a single that was released later that year that garnered him more popularity. The song "Say Yeah," which sampled the ‘90s hit “Better Off Alone” by Alice Deejay, performed fairly well on the charts – giving Khalifa his first hit in his young career. He continued to release mix tapes in 2008 and 2009.
In 2009, he released his second studio album, Deal or No Deal. The record was more of commercial success than his debut, and reached number one on the iTunes Store hip hop chart. It also broke into the top 10 of the overall albums chart.
Throughout this time, Khalifa began to gain traction with more established acts and performed with Girl Talk and Wu-Tang Clan member U-God. In March 2010, he graced the stage at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, and started to enter the mainstream.
Later in 2010, he achieved internet fame when he made his mixtape Kush and Orange Juice available for free download. As a result, he became one of the highest trending topics on Twitter and Google.
By mid-2010, Khalifa already enjoyed a fairly large fanbase, but the relase of the single "Black and Yellow" pushed him to the mainstream. The tune is expected to be on his as of yet unnamed album, which is set to be released in 2011.
The 23-year-old Pittsburgh native is certainly showing no sign of slowing down. He is very quickly becoming one of the most popular rappers to a wide base of fans and will likely be around for years to come.