Wiz Khalifa's albums have never been as good as his mixtapes.

On his earlier efforts, the Pittsburgh emcee's breezy attitude and malleable delivery made him a perfect poster child for weed rap. His bars were never steeped in metaphor or even necessarily clever, ("Groupies wanna leave the club wit' me/Ain't nothin' to a G'/Let your hair blow in the breeze/ Roll some bomb-a** weed,") but gliding instrumentals and a splash of melody made his discography the perfect soundtrack for an afternoon smoke sesh in the 2010s. Where his mixtapes thrived in their cruise-control chilled-out vibes, Wiz Khalifa's albums have always suffered from a strange stiffness he's never been able to escape.

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Music Features

Classic Mixtapes To Get Us Through Summer In Quarantine

Let's revisit some of the great summer mixtapes to help ease the pangs of summertime nostalgia

Bonfires with our friends, balmy summer days spent by the lake passing a spliff and sipping on a Corona, summertime love affairs—it all may feel like a past life now.

The rollout for summer 2020 is unlike anything before it. While Americans everywhere try to retain a sense of normalcy, it will be impossible to enjoy summer the way we want to. Bitter nostalgia for the summers of yore is rampant. Luckily, music has remained the one constant. To help unwind in these times of heightened anxiety, it helps to revisit some of the mixtapes that brought us childhood bliss, that pumped us up when school dismissed for summer, that blasted through our car speakers as we cruised with the windows down with our friends in tow. Here are a few of the greatest mixtapes of summers past, in the hopes it will bring back the fond memories that, right now, may feel distant.

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CULTURE

A Talk With "Sprayground" Founder David Ben David

The designer sat down with Popdust to talk about Sprayground's latest collection, and working with Dave East.

Everyone from Saweetie, Young Dolph, and Jacquees, to Young Thug and Dave East, have worn David Ben David's iconic streetwear brand: Sprayground.

Its safe to say the brand has taken over the urban fashion scene and found a sweet spot in Hip-Hop's upper echelon. The young designer, who even has a budding rap career of his own, sat down with Popdust to discuss his latest collection and describe his special relationship with streetwear that stems back a decade. Intending to revolutionize a market "known for utilitarian purposes," as David puts it, the designer amalgamated his passion for colorful graffiti with his uncanny eye for sophistication. Each design is bursting with personality, and a closer inspection finds every piece to be durable and of extremely high-quality. His latest collection, titled "The Inverno Collezione," is no different. Loud and kaleidoscopic, David's latest work is all about embodying the colorful idiosyncrasies of popular culture. "I wanted to create something that all fans can resonate with," David said, "Whether that be art, video games, iconic comic books or music, all the things I love, especially coming from a background of street art."

How did you creatively shake things up this time around when designing Inverno?

The colors are something else even compared to Sprayground's past work. This collection was launched in conjunction with Art Basel, with a theme around pop-culture. I wanted to make sure this was felt throughout the whole line. "The Inverno Collezione" captures the wow-factor of comic books, video games, and fearless street art.

What pop culture moments specifically?

It celebrates the popularity of video games like Fortnite, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter, [along with] the icons of legendary comic books, including Deadpool, Harley Quinn, The Joker and Black Panther's famous motto "Wakanda Forever." It [also combines] the magic of classic art including street art versions of the Mona Lisa and Salvador Dali.

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How did you connect with Dave East for the Colombian boot campaign? That promo film was crazy.

I contacted Dave because he was one of the first people to see the boot in person. I just instantly fell in love with them and the Colombian vibe, and he shared in my passion, so I knew this was someone I wanted to be involved with. That all opened the door to our latest collection, Global Money, which we created in collaboration with him on MLK Day. I took inspiration for the collection from Dave East's global ambitions, and I wanted to create a bag that artistically includes every currency from each country around the world. We love collaborating with like-minded creatives!

Sprayground


What does this collection say about Sprayground?

We aim to bring art, design, music, travel, and the sixth sense into fashion to revolutionize a market that was known to be for utilitarian purposes. This collection is no different – I wanted to create a collection that brings together all aspects in a stand-out way, and this demonstrates our continuous growth and rebellion in that market.

How do you continue to find ways to push the culture forward with your style? What's your process like? What made you guys decide to get into shoes?

Culture is a huge part of what we do. Our recent concept, the Colombian boot, was created after I received a call from the Colombian Army that they wanted to promote 'Made In Colombia' boots to mark the end of the war with the rebel army after 50 years. I was so intrigued, and I flew straight to Bogota to meet with the government and visit the army factory. The factory had been in business for over 35 years, producing high-quality army boots that were made of Italian leather and built and tested for all terrains.

How did that inspiration turn into the boot?

Taking inspiration from these boots, I took their classic design and added Sprayground's iconic "Shark Mouth" on the back heel, a hidden zipper on the tongue, and named the boots "Fuerza Cobra" with its original use in mind, for paratroopers. There it was, our first-ever shoe. They were so popular they already sold out, so we're already working on a new design.