Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa is a hip-hop artist who had a brief time in the limelight. However, he still had an impact when he first arose on the scene. Signed initially to the independent Pennsylvania label Rostrum Records (the label that birthed Mac Miller), Khalifa exploded in the mid-2000s.
The artist (real name Cameron Thomaz) first erupted with his track ‘Say Yeah,’ a rap rendition of the iconic Euro house track ‘Better Off Alone’ by Alice Deejay. The track featured on his 2008 mixtape, Flight School.
Khalifa made his first international hit in 2011 when he released ‘Black and Yellow’ which debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and debuted at number five on the UK Singles Chart.
To many he seemed just like any new rapper. However, unlike other artists, people noticed that the young emcee had a very unusual stage name. Still, in a 2006 interview with the online magazine Brotha Ash Productions, Wiz Khalifa revealed the strange origin of the moniker.
In the interview, Wiz revealed that one of his uncle was of Arabic descent and had the name, Khalifa. Elaborating on the origin, the artist explained, When I first started rapping, my Uncle’s name was ‘Knowledge’, and we were all in a group.
He continued, “I wanted to make a name that was sort of like his, so I chose Wisdom. My Uncle was Muslim, so he gave me the ‘Khalifa’, which means ‘successor’. I was Wisdom Khalifa for a while when I was younger, and then I turned about 15, and I dropped the ‘dom’ from Wisdom.”
However, there was another reason that the ‘Black and Yellow’ musician dropped the end of “Wisdom” as during his adolescence, his friends would call him young Wiz because he was very skilled at a lot of things. Thomaz even got the word tattooed on his torso when he turned 17. You can hear Thomaz explain his name in the video below.