Saturday Night Before the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
A thin lavender marijuana fog—like a sub-ocular purple, a slight distortion in the visual field—hangs lightly in front of the picture windows in Wiz Khalifa’s hotel suite. Wiz, just waking up as midnight comes on, materializes out of the fog, shirtless and barefoot, skinny and tall, vertical as an exclamation point. His frail torso seems borrowed from a Depression-era pneumonia victim. His dreads turn honey-colored right as they hit his face, like he’s a Tolkien character in whose footprints flowers grow. Ever literal, he has the words Wiz Khalifa tattooed on his right arm.
He drifts through the room as if he hasn’t quite noticed the rest of the people in it just yet. John, one of Wiz’s day-to-day managers, immediately hands him a joint, the product of a little impromptu weed factory his entourage has set up in one corner of the suite. Watching them work around the circular table here—right now it’s John; the rapper Chevy Woods; another guy, the Houston rapper Sosamann, who has Yung Sosa tattooed on his knuckles; DJ Bonics, Wiz’s DJ; Dan, who looks like Clark Kent and is a photographer; all of them assembling joints—is like watching an elite crew of suburban housewives prepare the most elaborate one-dish potluck in the history of potlucks. Martavis Bryant, the young Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, is on a couch, stoically watching motocross. (Note to Roger Goodell: He didn’t go anywhere near drugs, or at least no nearer than the couch.) A long-haired woman in a short robe pads out of Wiz’s bedroom, then silently glides back in.