Wiz Khalifa at University of Miami December 3

If Wiz Khalifa were stuck on a desert island and could have only two things, there's a very good chance he'd be packing kush (AKA cannabis) and orange juice. Although his most recent release, 2010's Kush and Orange Juice mixtape, makes a much stronger case for the first.

The hype-worthy, 20-track tape is his eighth independent effort in the past five years and his most successful since leaving Warner Bros. in 2009. As a free download, it generated major Internet buzz, becoming a number one trending topic on Twitter and Google Hot Trends while scoring favorable reviews from Pitchfork, PopMatters, and Entertainment Weekly.

Hailing from the same city as mashup maestro Girl Talk and the Steelers — he has affectionately dubbed his hometown "Pittsburgh, Pistol-Vania" — Wiz doesn't exactly come from a place synonymous with hip-hop. But he never let that get in the way of his grind. Over the past couple of years, he has dropped his second full-length album, Deal or No Deal, to much acclaim, toured rigorously, appeared on the cover of XXL, and turned in notable performances at CMJ, SXSW, and this summer's Rock the Bells tour. Not bad for a heavily tattooed, 22-year-old indie rapper and kush aficionado.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jasper Delaini