“Work Hard, Play Hard” is the master plan that Wiz Khalifa reveals.

Martial arts and weed help power Khalifa’s creative process and wild and free life.

hip hop is life mens health september cover wiz khlalifa

WHEN WIZ KHALIFA broke through with his number-one hit “Black and Yellow” in 2010, the Pittsburgh rapper was a stringy six-four and 140 pounds. Over the next few years, he earned more fans with soulful feel-good songs like “See You Again” and “Young, Wild & Free” and his wholehearted embrace of cannabis.

Khalifa, born Cameron Jibril Thomaz, created his own weed brand, Khalifa Kush, in 2015 and turned it into a growing empire in and outside of hip-hop. Now 35, Khalifa has taken an active interest in martial arts since 2017, working with Muay Thai and mixed martial arts trainers to pack on muscle: He’s now 175 pounds. The opposite of a lazy stoner, Khalifa gets up at 6:00 A.M. most days, takes his son to school, and then hits the gym. He focuses on a different muscle group every day but the regimen stays the same: one hour of weights, one hour of MMA. That strength helps him perform better. MH caught up with the Khalifa to talk hip hop and health.

Bleacher Report on X: "Wiz Khalifa says MMA would need to pay him "a whole bunch of money” to get him to fight, per @TMZ https://t.co/JckVWI37La https://t.co/gyCa5yl18Q" / X

Après le rap, Wiz Khalifa prêt à se lancer dans une carrière de MMA ?

Men’s Health: What hip hop artists inspired you over the years? Do you have a favorite hip hop song or album?

Wiz Khalifa: Tyler the Creator. I like his music visuals and the all around direction of his art.

When you think of hip-hop health, what other artists come to mind for you and why?

LL Cool J. Method Man. Melle Mel. Couple dudes who take their physique serious.

What’s your favorite hip-hop health song or piece of health advice you got from a rap song?

None really! LOL.

You’ve been rapping for nearly 20 years at this point. What inspires you as a rapper as you get older?

Adding to sauce creatively. I love to create, so just the act of doing something new inspires me.

When did your health journey first start?

Six years ago.

Growing up as a Black boy, did anybody in your family impart how important fitness was?

We always played sports and I had natural athleticism but being in the gym wasn’t something that was regular until I got older.

Walk us through a typical day at the gym for you. How often do you work out? What’s your favorite workout?

Normal day I wake up at 6 A.M., eat breakfast, take my son to school, then hit the gym. We do different muscle groups every day, so I do weight training for an hour, then mixed martial arts for another hour. Afterwards I stretch, and then I like to have a protein shake and smoke a fat-ass joint.

How has all this working out and eating impacted your shows?

I look buff as hell on stage. I always had good energy—now my body looks amazing.

exercise definitely helps me focus and slow things down and work on the smaller things and be more patient


Do you feel like it’s helped you become a better performer?

I was always a dope performer so naw, working out hasn’t really changed that.

What advice do you have for Black men looking to get into health and fitness?

Exercise definitely helps me focus, slow things down, work on the smaller things, and be more patient. And when I have injuries, smoking puts my mind in a good place to heal the right spots and get better.

Is using marijuana part of your wellness/mental-health practice?

For sure. It’s more acceptable and not seen as something that will slow you down or make you lazy. You still have people who believe that but you also have people like me to end that stereotype, so it’s more balanced.

You’re a father, businessman, son, and musician. Rank those four in terms of importance to you and your life?

Father first. Everything else can go wherever it wants.

Who are your heroes?

I don’t have any heroes. My biggest inspirations are my dad, my son, and myself.

What contributions to the world do you think are uniquely hip-hop?

Style of dress, words, attitude, fun, and an open expression of yourself.

What could hip-hop do better?

Allow our artists to age gracefully.

hip hop is life mens health september cover wiz khalifa


SOURCES: Men’s Health.