Cameron Jibril Thomaz started rapping as part of a group at a young age. His uncle was the leader of that group and rapped under the stage name of ‘Knowledge’. Due to this, Thomaz became ‘Wisdom’, and the ‘Khalifa’ part was added by his uncle who is a Muslim. It means ‘successor’ and by shorting the ‘Wisdom’ to just ‘Wiz’, Thomaz became the household name that he is today.
When recalling signing him to Rostrum Records, the recording label under which he still performs to this day, president Benjy Grinberg said of Wiz Khalifa: “He was 16, an amazing lyricist, and even though he wasn’t all the way developed you could just tell that he was a diamond in the rough, and that with some polishing, guidance and backing he could become something special.” That was back in 2004 and, after unsuccessful attempts with two albums and multiple singles, Khalifa finally gained success with 2011’s Black and Yellow.
The song’s name is a reference to the NFL team Pittsburg Steelers. Khalifa apparently is such a big fan that he even bought a car in those two colors to show his allegiance to the team. After the song set off, many remakes were made in support of other teams, referring to their respective pair of colors. The Game, Snoop Dogg and YG made Purp & Yellow representing the Los Angeles Lakers, while Lil Wayne’s tribute to the Green Bay Packers was called Green and Yellow.
An official remix of Black and Yellow was released 3 months after the original, featuring rappers Snoop Dogg, Juicy J and T-Pain as well as a new Wiz Khalifa verse.
Black and Yellow spent 1 week at number one in Billboard Top 100 before being dethroned by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way.