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Interview:
Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg have plenty of high times together
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg have titled their current concert trek the High Road Summer Tour, And the younger rapper says the high spirits aren't just about the obvious.

"Me and Snoop are really cool," Khalifa, 28, says by phone from Los Angeles, where he resides. "We're more like brothers than a business relationship, so this is gonna be cool and it's gonna be fun because we're gonna really have a dope experience behind the scenes as well as on the stage.

"I think we're both genuinely the same amount as excited for this."

But for the Pittsburgh-raised Khalifa (real name Cameron Thomaz), it's a chance to spend some time on the road with one of his bona fide heroes in the rap game.

"I remember hearing Snoop's music in, like, '93, when it first came out when West Coast rap was looked at as really hardcore," he recalls. "But it was something I gravitated towards just because of the generally smooth sound of it. It didn't really come off like gangsta rap to me. What I remember most is he was saying 'bitch' a lot...

"And ever since then he's been able to just move through time and have songs like 'Beautiful' with Pharrell and to reinvent and recreate and really establish himself. There's nobody else in the game like Snoop. So just having the history and growing up listening to it and then being able to meet him and be an acquaintance of his is really cool.

"But the fact that he's still going is, like, the best."

Khalifa acknowledges it's a charged time for the rappers to be on the road, between a presidential campaign heavy with racial issues and the recent cases of police violence in American cities. And while most of the shows will be dedicated to having a good time, Khalifa -- who's finishing work on his next album, "Rolling Papers 2" -- says he and Snoop won't be ignoring the bigger issues, either.

"I think we're gonna have a lot of fun with (the election)," he says. "That's what me and Snoop usually do; We make lightheartedness out of a heavy situation, so while educating people we'll also put our spin on it and let people know how we feel.

"Opportunity usually presents itself in cool-ass ways, so I know when that opportunity is there me and Snoop are definitely gonna take it."

The High Road Summer Tour with Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and more

7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12.

DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $35-$125 pavilion, $26 lawn with a $78 lawn four-pack.

Call (248) 377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.


Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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