Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa speak with XXL magazine in the spring issue about their joint album, Stoner's Night, newcomers in the rap game and more.
TWEET Connected for Life A mutual appreciation for each others work has culminated in a more than 10-year, cross-generational friendship between Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J. Wisdom, weed and wonder for what lies ahead keeps them connected. Interview: Robby Seabrook III Images: Joyce Charat Editors Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now. Now that hip-hop has existed for nearly 50 years, proof that the genre influences itself is crystal clear. There are few better examples of this than the decade-plus friendship between Wiz Khalifa the Pittsburgh-raised, mid-2000s rap blog mainstay-turned-rap star, and Juicy J the rap and production legend of the famed 1990s Memphis rap group Three 6 Mafia While Wizgrew up a fan of Three 6 Mafia a crew whose dark and dreary sound changed the landscape of hip-hopwhat truly connects him and Juicyis a dedication to their craft. Juicy saw that in Wiz once the two met up on a tour bus in 2010, thanks to a Twitter exchange. Soon after, Juicy joined Wizs upstart label and crew, Taylor Gang, as a third owner and artist. Nowadays, Wiz 34, and Juicy J 47, are close friends, labelmates and frequent collaborators. Their mutual respect shines brightly on their 13-track joint album, Stoners Night, released this past February. Packed with tales of money-making, weed-smoking, partying and everything else rich rappers do, plus features from Big30, Project Pat and Elle Varner, Stoners Night is an enjoyable romp. The rap tandem also has no plans to stop there, as there will be more music from Taylor Gang at large, and a possible Stoners Night movie. Juicy and Wizs fun-loving demeanors have led to a long-lasting bond based on genuine love and appreciation. Wiz respects Juicy as a wise, veteran artist that he can trust, and Juicy looks to Wiz as a talented younger act who puts his all into the studio in addition to being the ultimate team player. Just days after the release of Stoners Night, which follows their first collabo, 2016s TGOD Mafia: Rude Awakening, Juicy J and Wiz Khalifahopped on Zoom with XXL to discuss their friendship, what they see in each others artistry, their longevity in rap and the importance of family. XXL: Thinking back to the early days, can you remember what your first experience with Juicys music was? Wiz Khalifa: I grew up in Pittsburgh and we listened to a lot of different shit out there, but Three 6 Mafia always been popular, especially coming up in the 1990s. But this shit was underground at this time, so you could live in different states and not get that same tape. And I moved around a lot. So, certain people wouldnt listen to Three 6, and I would have to put them on like, Nigga, this is what we listen to back home. Juicy, what were the mid-to-late 2000s like? You were picking up a lot of college-aged fans, after all the work you put in during the 1990s and how big you were back then. You were doing it all over again, just 10 years later. Juicy J: Man, it was fun. The way we made music back then it was just like, we didnt think about it. We in the studio and created, and this came out just classic. I feel like back then, people loved it. But now its so in demand, more now than ever. We do shows, thousands and thousands of people. I feel like we were just way before our time. Three 6 Mafia, like back in the 90s, we was big. We wasnt the No. 1 on Billboard. We just had underground hits and I still went gold and platinum, but it was all just word of mouth and our independent promotion. When I did the Verzuz battle, a lot of muthafuckas didnt even know that I was in Three 6 Mafia. Do you consider Stoners Night your first collab project together, considering you made TGOD Mafia: Rude Awakening with TM88 in 2016? Wiz Khalifa: I feel like people is considering this one our first one. Because when we did TGOD Mafia, that was another idea that Juicy came with, which was really dope. But we did exclusive production with TM and it was more like a three-way type of thing. On Stoners Night, I feel like me and Juicy been working on this album since we met. Some of the songs and verses, we had to go back like four, five, six, seven years, and reinvent them first. The ideas were good, but we had to make them new all over again. Juicy is a beast at putting everything together and producing, and I just write my ass off and pick out what I think sounds interesting just based off of me being a fan. Juicy, hes not only an OG, hes my OG. I wouldnt be in the position that Im in without Juicy. Juicy, what spurs you to continue to work with newer acts? Juicy J: A lot of people that come from my era, I run into a lot of OGs, they be like, How you like that new music, man? A lot dont understand, but I understand. I get it because I never stopped. I dont live in 1998. I live in 2022. Im always moving forward. So, I listen to everything. When I started, I was a DJ, producer, manager, A&R. I was finding talent, bringing talent to the label and s