Rapper Wiz Khalifa rose to fame in a rather unconventional manner. After releasing 5 independent and free mixtapes online, the Pittsburgh lyricist began winning the respect of hip-hop fans all over the globe. His sixth release, entitled "Kush and Orange Juice," became an instant classic, and today it is still one the most highly searched mixtapes.
After this initial success, Wiz took the step of going "mainstream" with his music. After linking up with record label Rostrum Records, Wiz released his first studio album; fortunately, many of his fans were disappointed. The album received mediocre reviews on various blog sites, and even though Wiz captured the number one spot on Billboard with his hit single "Black and Yellow," may felt like he did not live up to his potential.
The cause of this disappointment was Wiz's deviation from his "expected" subject matter and tone. For his first mainstream release, Wiz seemed to be under the influence of the record companies when deciding the directions of the records. At times, the album seemed to be one composed of pop-hop, a semi-genre most rappers hate to be categorized in. This should be a warning to all artists out there; although the labels may have ideas that lead to commercial "success," only you can decide what music you are truly passionate about making. It is a trade-off that everyone must evaluate for themselves, but the fans would appreciate you staying true.