When Wiz Khalifa unveiled his cover art for ‘O.N.I.F.C.’ on Twitter he didn’t know it would ignite a tweet-storm of negative comments on his timeline. The Pittsburgh rapper sat down with Karen Civil to discuss the backlash he received for his, uh, unique album artwork.
Surprisingly, Wiz is happy that the cover garnered such a visceral reaction with his fans. “With the ['O.N.I.F.C.'] cover and everything, it’s just moving into the future,” he said. “We can’t stay where we’ve been at, we got to move forward. I think that’s the beauty of it — so many people try to plan all those types of situations and be like, ‘This is what it is, that’s what it is’ — I don’t know what [the response] is gonna be. I do what I feel, and then people react to it.”
“When [people started reacting to it], it was crazy to me because I thought people would love it,” he continues. “I thought they going to be like, ‘Yo this is the craziest cover, this is the best s— I ever seen in my life.’ But instead they said, ‘Noooo!’”
In the end, Wiz sees the cover art as a great promotional tool and free publicity for his upcoming album. “Whether people are talking about how bad [the cover is] or how good it is, they are talking about it,” he explains. “And that becomes the thing for the day, the week, the month or however long it lasts. So, it’s a good thing and I believe in it, so that what’s most important.”
Wiz also touched on the comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and how he deals with being compared with the iconic rock legend. “Jimi Hendrix is a great person, I love Jimi,” he says. “So for me having an Afro, wearing a bandana around my head and people thinking that I look like Jimi Hendrix doesn’t mean that I’m trying to be [him].”
“I embodied that mind frame [and] that spirit,” he adds. “And how people really felt about how important it was to stand up for what you believe in and to fight for what was yours whether it be your culture, or your family or your country.”
If you thought Wiz album artwork was surprising, wait to you hear what Wiz has in store for the album. Along with the platinum-certified single ‘Work Hard, Play Hard,’ Wizzy has tapped Lil Wayne, Drake and Young Jeezy for the remix. This should sound interesting if all three bring their lyrical A-game to the song.
“This album is going to be ridiculous,” says Wiz. “And we got more songs. I love the natural progression of who’s involved, what’s happening and who’s excited about it. So I couldn’t be in a better place.”
Watch Wiz Khalifa’s Interview with Karen Civil