The making of Wiz Khalifa’s ‘Kush & OJ’ | Precise notes

The biggest stars often have humble beginnings, and Wiz Khalifa is no different. After his seminal music tape 2010 from & OJ Released as a free download on April 14, 2010, Rick Ross attempted to sign the burgeoning Pittsburgh star, Pittsburgh Steelers used the “black and yellow” record he released five months later from & OJ As their fight song during Super Bowl XLV, the 22-year-old signed his second major deal with Atlantic Records.

For many, Wiz’s star started to rise at once from & OJ Projection. For his producer and longtime friend Eric Dunn, it all started years ago from & OJ It was even an idea on teen Wes’ mind, answering phones and doing chores for studio time at Dan’s ID Labs studio in Lawrence, Pennsylvania, just outside of Wes’s hometown of Pittsburgh.

Wiz Khalifa – black and yellow [Official Music Video]

Dan was an early believer in Wiz’s talents after meeting Wiz as a teen in his studio around 2005. Seeing how hungry he was to compose music, Dan struck a deal: Wiz could get free time in the studio after Dan finished working. With customers who pay like as long as the phone calls are answered and swept. “This nonsense went on for a week,” Lee Dan said with a laugh. He answered the phones a few times and told me, “I don’t do this bullshit.” At that point, I didn’t care. We started working on the music that I felt was the best music I was a part of at the time. So, I stopped sweating it because of the floor sweeping and we just kept working. ”

While the barter system ended, the work only intensified, with Wiz taking any and all opportunities to squeeze in recording time to craft what would become a landmark project for one of the most successful debut rap artists of the past decade. I had the chance to talk to Dan about Wiz breaking rap conventions, recording a classic with All They Have, and Wiz smoking sessions.

from & OJ It was registered mostly on the old site of Dan’s ID Laboratories – a very small one-story office space in a dilapidated section of Pittsburgh. The studio was as DIY as it comes. Wiz split his recording of from & OJ Between two rooms: a rear room equipped with a Neumann TLM 103 microphone that goes to Universal Audio LA 610 preamp, Yamaha 01V mixing unit, Digi 002 audio interface, Event 20/20 BAS monitors.

The studio’s front room was one that Dan described as the size of a bathroom. “That front room was so small, we bought a small Whisper Room – little iso boxes – for a mic booth. There, we had a TLM 103 in Universal Audio LA 610. Because Wiz was the only artist in the studio not paying for studio time because it was part of what We were doing it, it would float back and forth, depending on where the sessions were taking place. If there was a paid session in one room, it would go to the other.”

from & OJ, with its soulful and funk influences, paired with the outdated rap melodic flow of the heavy-toned, automatic rap era in 2010’s hip-hop. He used his soft, natural voice as an ethereal vessel for renewed vocals on the refreshing “Up” song, which sounds more Roy Ayers than From Rick Ross. Rap on an ’80s-inspired dance track for “The Kid Frankie” sounded like it was a hit soul train. Wiz hacked into the mainstream with from & OJ By experimenting with conventions to the point of embodying the classic records that inspired the project. Dan admits he “didn’t see the vision until 90% of the way the project was done,” but he still does what he can to bring Wiese’s vision to life.

“It was a no-sampling experience. For ‘Good Dank’ I plugged in ESP-LTD [electric guitar] Directly into the Great River (Mercury Edition) preamplifier, and try to create a sample of the sound. Doing this used to be a lot more difficult than it is now with all the plugins available that make anything you’re running look like a sample. ”

Dan’s early reservations about Wiz’s experimental sound were motivated by the purified career space that Wiz was in while making it from & OJ. nine months ago from & OJ That would change his life, Wiz ended his two-year stint with Warner Bros. Records after the constant delays in his debut. for him Agree or not The track was released four months after the Warner Bros deal was successfully resolved, reaching number two on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart days after its release. However, the energy at ID Labs was nothing but the content.

“We were in this limbo. We’d been working with Wiz for five years at that point, and it wasn’t clear where things were going. There were hopeful moments that broke, false starts, and things that seemed to be going to happen but didn’t,” Dan recalled. “Personally, I was wondering, What will we do next? What will Wiz do next to turn the tide and get people to connect? At the beginning of the process, I did not understand. ”

Wiz Khalifa – Father

To give context on how Dan established the rise of Wiz when E. Dan first met 16-year-old Wiz, he doesn’t remember the young rapper smoking—a discovery equivalent to meeting Flavor Flav before he put on his watch. By the time the 22-year-old Wiz was working from & OJHe and other artists smoked weed so much that the modestly sized studio could not handle it. “The building we were in was very small and the ventilation was so horrible, there were nights when the studio door was open and smoke was coming up. It looked like a fog machine directed at the door. It would look like a cartoon.”

In order to compose the songs, Wiz would write the lyrics in the studio on notebooks rather than now he would freely move through the house by taping a few lines at a time, punching until he formed the image. As a result, Dan remembers most from & OJ It’s recorded in a single take, showing the area Wiz was in and expert guidance Dan the young MC provided. “When I started working with him at age 16, I was the older producer, I’m like, ‘You have to write verse and practice verse. You don’t have to take it necessarily, but you want to beat most he-she.”

Wiz Khalifa – Good Dank

until today , from & OJ It is valued as a watershed project for the legitimacy of independent music in the age of purgatory between the fall of CD and digital downloads and the rise of broadcasting. Wiz, E. Dan, Big Jerm, Sledgren and their group of family-turned-collaborators created a project that immediately impacted the world with #kushandoorangejuice being the trending topic on Twitter on day one of the project’s launch. Twelve years and millions of sales records later, hip-hop was lucky, and Dan believed in an unproven teenage rapper with a desire to create.

“From the point of view of wisdom, I opened people up to a more lively sound that wasn’t happening very often. There was a lot of violent rap going on at the time, which from & OJ not. It helped usher in the cool hip-hop movement.”

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