Atlantic Records has announced the signing of acclaimed rapper Wiz Khalifa, an outcome of a deal with Rostrum Records, the rapper’s longtime independent label. The Pittsburgh-based hip-hop sensation is currently at work on his much-anticipated label debut, slated for release in early 2011.
Recently named MTV’s “Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010,” Wiz is set to embark on a massive North American tour dubbed the “Waken Baken Tour,” which kicks off on Thursday, September 16th at Philadelphia’s The Trocadero and then continues through late November (see attached itinerary).
Having already released a steady stream of popular mixtapes, Wiz blew up big-time, earlier this year with the release of his blockbuster, “KUSH & ORANGE JUICE.” The mixtape proved to be a genuine online phenomenon, quickly becoming the #1 search topic on both Google and Yahoo, as well as a #1 trending topic on Twitter, with the hashtag, #kushandorangejuice. “KUSH & ORANGE JUICE” is now ranked as the “Most Popular Mixtape of All Time” at DatPiff.comwith nearly a quarter of a million downloads to date.
Since then, Wiz’ online presence has been undeniable, with close to 8 million profile views and a total of nearly 30 million plays at his official MySpace page, www.myspace.com/wizkhalifa, as well as over 220,000 fans following him atwww.twitter.com/RealWizKhalifa. In addition to this, the rapper’s official Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/WizKhalifa, is “liked” by over 400,000 people.
Inspired by hip-hop’s greatest artists but determined to pave his own lane, Wiz Khalifa first made waves after an encounter with Rostrum Records’ founder Benjy Grinberg. The label head instantly recognized a superstar on the rise and Rostrum soon released Wiz’ first mixtape, “PRINCE OF THE CITY,” and the subsequent debut album, “SHOW AND PROVE,” in 2006. The album quickly earned unprecedented critical praise, with Okayplayer.com declaring it “arguably the best hip-hop release of the year,” officially putting Wiz on the radar of artists to look out for.
Riding the momentum of “SHOW AND PROVE,” Wiz released a multitude of mixtapes over the next three years, gaining him both the buzz and the loyal fan base needed to catapult him to the next level. Wiz’ next album, “DEAL OR NO DEAL,” was released in November of 2009 and landed in the #1 spot on iTunes “Top Hip Hop/Rap Albums” chart thanks to the huge buzz generated by his indefatigable grassroots grind. Showing no signs of slowing down, Wiz embarked on a 40-city, sold out “Deal Or No Deal Tour,” in support of the highly successful album.
Props to Wiz’s Manager Arthur Pitt for sending this over, at this point the lane that Wiz is in he really doesn’t need a label. I really believe with a couple radio singles he could most certainly move a million units without any label push. Either way it’s a good look for him though, even I’m not a big fan of Atlantic.
WAKEN BAKEN TOUR 2010 ITINERARY Below
16 Philadelphia, PA The Trocadero
19 Charlottesville, VA Jefferson Theater
21 New Haven, CT Toad’s Place
22 Providence, RI Lupo’s
24 Montreal, QUEB La Tulipe
25 Kingston, ONT Stage’s Nightclub
26 Toronto, ONT The Opera House
28 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
29 Chicago, IL Metro
30 Urbana, IL Canopy Club
1 Madison, WI The Orpheum Theater
2 Big Rapids, MI Ferris State University
4 Iowa City, IA The Union Bar
5 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
6 Omaha, NE Sokol Auditorium
7 Denver, CO Ogden Theater
8 Boulder, CO Fox Theater
9 Colorado Springs, CO The Black Sheep
10 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue
12 Boise, ID The Knitting Factory
14 Vancouver, BC Fortune
15 Seattle, WA Showbox Sodu
16 Eugene, OR Wow Hall
26 Tucson, AZ Rialto Theater
27 Scottsdale, AZ Venue Of Scottsdale
28 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theater
29 Dallas, TX House Of Blues
30 Austin, TX Emo’s
31 Houston, TX House Of Blues
2 New Orleans, LA House Of Blues
4 Orlando, FL Club At Firestone
5 Tampa, FL The Ritz
6 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
10 Richmond, VA The National
11 Norfolk, VA Norva Theater
14 Albany, NY Northern Lights
16 Allentown, PA Crocodile Café
Additional Dates To Be Announced