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Cover Story: Balancing Act Pete Wentz by Wiz Khalifa

With a stream of artists and bands on his DCD2 Records label, the talented bassist is also quite the businessman and art enthusiast. Rapper Wiz Khalifa recently caught up with his tour mate while on the road to discuss life, music, art, and maintaining it all.

Story by Wiz Khalifa | Photography by Miguel Starcevich | Styling by Darius Baptist | Grooming Pricilla Pae

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Wiz: From your perspective what would you say was your best experience from the Boys of Zummer tour?

Pete: It had to be a good time for everyone. Playing for your fans as well as ours. I think it made for an awesome mix, therefore making for a great show. Some times when you’re an artist you get into the habit of preaching to the choir so to speak, but I really think this made for a great show.

Wiz: What are some of the highlights for you?

Pete: I always like getting on the bus and just traveling to the different cities and venues. Each tour is like a time capsule, a polaroid, or a special moment one night in each city. Yes it’s the same show, but every city, every venue is different. I always look forward to hanging with the people.

Wiz: Let’s talk music for a moment. Looking back how was the recording process of American Beauty/American Psycho different from your last projects?

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Pete: We actually recorded this project on the road. That was different for us. This is totally a record that was done on the road. We stepped out of comfort zone for this one.

Wiz: I would assume you’re pleased with the results?

Pete: Absolutely!

Wiz: Why the title American Beauty/ American Psycho?

Pete: The juxtaposition of a beautiful thing against an insane thing. Everyone has a beautiful and crazy side within themselves in one way or another. How did you come up with Blacc Hollywood?

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Wiz: (Laughs) That title came from me and my homies rolling around Hollywood doing our thing, fucking things up because no one ever expected us to be doing what we’re doing today. The more I thought about it I realized it’s our lifestyle and everything that we do. That is what Blacc Hollywood meant to me. I don’t know what the hell I’m gonna name my next project, how about you?

Pete: I always come up with crazy titles in the middle of the night, so we’ll see.

Wiz: Did you know “Centuries”, would be a hit when you recorded it?

Pete: It’s easier for me to hear a hit from someone else versus myself. To me it’s always about creating and the process. Of course you want people to like it but you never know.

Wiz: You’re completely right with that. When you’re making a song you hope that it will be a hit, but   you never really know what people will like. Man, the song “Uma Thurman”, was another hit for you guys. How did you come up with that one, and did anyone ask her (Uma Thurman) permission?

Pete: We came up with it from a sample we used from the television show The Munsters, and when people heard it they kept saying the song was cool as in (Quentin) Tarantino cool, so we thought we would build around that. Uma Thurman is beautiful and was such a badass in Kill Bill, so it just made sense. Yes we did get permission to use her name for the song.

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Wiz: I’m a huge Quentin Tarantino fan so once I heard it I fully understood the song and the video. People may not know you also have your own label DCD2 Records. How did that come about and what artists should be on our radar?

Pete: The label really formed as an extension of friendships between the artists and myself. It was always about us being a gang, a family in music. Its all come together as us being fans of music. We can create what we envision. We have Travie McCoy, Panic At The Disco, New Politics, this artist Max, and a few others. We inspire each other and make each other want to do better.

Wiz: What music are you currently listening to?

Pete: I’ve been listening to a ton of British and Canadian artists and bands lately. I’m kinda allover the place when it comes to music. I’ll go on SoundCloud and just listen to whatever. This is always late at night, so it’s crazy at times. How about you you?

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Wiz: I’m listening to whatever comes out. I’ve been DJ’ing quite a bit lately, so I go with what catches my ear, and what people are feeling. It ranges from Hip-Hop to Pop to R&B. 

Wiz: Why do you feel Fall Out Boy has been able to sustain in the business this long?

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Pete: I think because we have a  strong  work  ethic and we’ve surrounded ourselves with awesome people, but most importantly  because the fans have kept us here.

Wiz: I’m just finding out you are an avid art collector as well. What pieces or style of art are you typically drawn to?

Pete: I like modern art. I have works from Shepard Fairey, KAWS, Jose Carlos (Casado), and other pieces I’ve found that are cool. When I’m buying art I always think to myself you have to want to walk by the art that’s in your house. That’s generally how I choose. I like fun, cool, and interesting pieces.

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Wiz: What inspires you?

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Pete: Life inspires me. Meeting people hearing their stories and just learning or seeing something different is always an inspiration to me. Having this conversation is inspiring believe it or not. How about you, what are things that inspire you?

Wiz: Seeing people do what they love is always an inspiration for me. I feel  like  such an underdog and so many of my achievements are still happening, so when  I see people doing what they love, it motivates me so much more. What’s next for Pete Wentz?

Pete: I’ve gotten to a great place in my life and in my head: being a dad, having a label, being an artist, and having a great balance of it all. Trying to keep and maintain that balance is what’s always next for me. Man, to be honest, I just want to keep growing.

Wiz: I just want  to  let  you  know  being  on the road with you guys made for an awesome summer and some cool new friendships.

Pete: Thanks man. Here’s to new friendships and living life .

Story by Wiz Khalifa

Photography by Miguel Starcevich 

Styling by Darius Baptis

Grooming Pricilla Pae 

About Wiz Khalifa

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