Demonstrating the Student Programming Council’s knack for catching artists on the upswing is this year’s Spring Band Party headliner, Wiz Khalifa. Self-described in an interview with the Wheel as conveying the “hippie/stoner/pot-music sound,” Khalifa will be kicking off his Green Carpet Tour on Mar. 31 at Emory, two days after the release of his newest album Rolling Papers.
The show will be the first performance for the 17-city tour, which is stopping at colleges all over the country. Khalifa has always been loyal to his college fans, hence his reoccurring devotion to campus stages.
“I just like how interactive the college kids are. Usually they’re the first ones to get up on the music and really know about it. I’ve been doing colleges for years, and no plan on stopping either,” he said.
The tour is the 2011 edition of the annual Campus Consciousness Tour (CCT), the brainchild of the non-profit organization Reverb that seeks to “green”-ify the music industry and its fans.
Through the lens of the music business, Reverb promotes its aim to “inspire and activate students in an electric atmosphere while leaving a positive impact on each community the tour visits,” according to its website. This year, Khalifa’s energizing beats and addictive lyricism will take over the Green Campus Tour stage, starting first on Emory’s very own McDonough Field.
In terms of what exactly is in store for his Mar. 31 performance, Khalifa remains coy.
“I don’t want to give too much away before I get started doing it, but we’re definitely going to theme it out. It’s going to be tight,” he said.
Fresh off his successful Waken Baken Tour that reached 50 cities across the country and wrapped up in November, Khalifa wasted no time, seizing the chance to reenlist himself to continue performing for fans.
“My fans really motivate me to work the hardest ... I’ve given them so much, so now they know me for a certain thing so I have to keep that going. If I fell back from that, then I would lose everything that makes me, me,” he said.
Khalifa’s career has come a long way since he stormed into the music scene in 2008 with his enthralling hit, “Say Yeah,” that incorporated his lyrics into Alice Deejay’s techno sensation, “Better Off Alone.”
Since those days, the rapper has become best known for his most recent chart-topper “Black and Yellow,” a city-anthem turned nationwide hit single that has been dominating radio airplay. The song celebrates the colors of Khalifa’s hometown football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although it was conveniently released before the team secured a spot in the Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6, the team’s inclusion in the biggest football game of the year served as an unexpected support mechanism for the anthem’s sales.
“Black and Yellow” has spawned countless remixes from amateurs and professionals alike, including a notable rendition by Lil Wayne called “Green and Yellow” that supported the actual Super Bowl winners, the Green Bay Packers.
“Black and Yellow” flaunts Khalifa’s mastery of the catchy single. His second single, “Roll Up,” which narrates Khalifa’s romantic involvement with a woman whose “man’s gonna catch onto us,” is equally irresistible.
While his subject matter has not progressed intellectually since his early songs — the aforementioned “Say Yeah” for example, is about a typical night at a strip club — any divergence from his default topics of smoking weed and drinking would be too far out of character. His music is the perfect soundtrack for parties and celebrations, which is extremely appealing to college students looking to work hard and play hard — himself fitting into the second of those two categories.
A perfect act for students looking to live up second semester before the stresses of finals, Khalifa is excited to kick off the tour and has just one request for concertgoers.
“Just to come to the show and support. If they know the words, sing them. If they don’t, they can act like they know them,” he said.
Although his devotion to his college fans is rare and refreshing, don’t expect Khalifa to be cruising down frat row after the show.
“We haven’t done that in years, the hanging out afterward. That’s over with, but [students] can come to the show and have a great time,” he said.
— Contact Sara Hagey