During December, stepping into the AMP Radio offices and being greeted by the earthy, tranquil aroma of something other than an aromatic Christmas tree can only mean one thing: Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa have stopped by to spread a little holiday cheer.
The academic-cinematic duo, green from their world tour and the recent release of their joint collaboration soundtrack to their upcoming film, Mac & Devin Go To High School, talked to McCabe about the film and soundtrack, how they initially bonded, a sequel to the Mac & Devin saga, and what they were really like in high school.
Snoop Dogg: Good morning to you, good morning to you.
Wiz Khalifa: Choo choo.
McCabe: How you guy’s doing? This is probably going to be my coolest interview ever.
S: For sure it is, baby.
W: You’re a cool guy.
M: I want to thank you guys for stopping by after your show at the Wiltern. You guys teamed up for the movie and went on tour for a couple dates. How was last night?
W: It was awesome. The love was in the building. It was a positivity event. Best show on the tour.
M: [To Snoop] For you being on your home turf, is there a lot of family and friends that come out for you?
S: Yeah, it was special, man. It just felt like the love had over-poured. We had done so many different cities before we got here and it just felt like all of it had maximized once we got to L.A. The energy was right, the mood was right, the sound was right: It was perfect.
M: I think one of the coolest things–Wiz and I are kind of the same age–so growing up, listening to Snoop, who is one of the icons for hip-hop, you get to perform with him.
W: Yeah, tell me about it man. It was crazy. It’s the ish. Yeah. I was trying to find the word to get it all the way across. It’s the ish. I get to ad lib. I get to hype for Snoop.
I get to dance around. I get to sing the songs that I grew up and that we all knew and loved, y’now what I’m saying? And to have him ad-lib on my songs too. Kinda awesome.
M: How did you guys connect?
W: Snoop hit me up; he reached out. Just as a fan and as a real person. And just told me that he loved my movement and was really interested in not only working with me, but when we linked up he was like, ‘Yo, I just want to help you maximize what you’re doing, y’know what I’m saying?’
And, he’s the boss dogg so naturally, we just met. He put me on one of his songs and then I did the remix to “Black and Yellow” and put him on there. Soon as we got in the room together we became brothers.
M: [To Snoop] And what was your first impression when you met Wiz?
S: My brother from another mother. Everything I loved he loved. It was like watching myself all over again just seeing a young Snoop Dogg all over again.
Have fun and be peaceful and make good music and just know what he’s about. And stand down for things and being a real leader. Like, he leads a nation of people and didn’t really know that he was a leader.
He had a lot of people in his hands and he was leading them in the right direction and I was just wanted to make sure that he knew that he was doing the right thing and to keep doing what he was doing. He continued to do it.
M: Do you think there are not a lot of artists out there that have what Wiz has? I mean, is that what you saw in him?
S: No, he’s got it. It’s only a few that have it and when you got it, it’s all in you. It pours off of you. And Wiz got it.
And I seen it early. And it’s something you love and associate; I love magic and he’s a magical guy. And anytime you make magic you want to be associated with it, so it can continue to burn and flow inside of you.
M: So, you come together, work together and now we have the movie that’s not out yet, but now we have the soundtrack: Mac and Devin Go To High School. Who’s idea was it to write the movie?
W: It was definitely Snoop’s idea to write the movie and to really just go in his own pocket and make it happen. We sat around and we talked. The first day that we met the idea was born.
Next day we were in the studio and in the next two weeks we had the rough draft of the movie and were working towards it. It was something, you know, that was a new experience for me because I was just used to smoking and talking about things, but Snoop really put it into action and made the idea into reality; it made me believe in it.
And, of course, soon as he was like ‘I’m down,’ he believed in me so much and gave me so much confidence, he felt like he’d seen the project before it was even done.
M: How do you feel about acting now?
W: I love it. I’m super comfortable but I only want to do it if it’s with Snoop or if it’s our way, y’know what I’m saying? We’re going to do films with other people in them or maybe there’s always going to be the buddy stuff between me and him, but if I just do one and he’s behind the scenes producing it…we’ll just kind of set it up for if where we just have everything in our own hands and if we decide to break bread or do it with other people, well, then that’s on us.
M: Now, what’s the movie? [To Snoop] You play like a character that’s been in high school for a while?
S: Yeah, I’m a 15-year-senior.
M: What’s kept you back so much?
S: Umm, I just love school. I love the extra-curricular things you can do at school and I really haven’t challenged myself to be a good student, but when I run across my dude Devin and we become friends, he shows me how to maximize the strength of my mentality and he gets my mind doing mental gymnastics and I get his body doing mental gymnastics and before you know it, he’s living his life having a good time and I end up graduating.
M: With a lot of the songs that are in the soundtrack, are you singing them in the movie as well?
S: Yeah, that’s the whole purpose of giving you the soundtrack now so when you do watch the movie and certain songs come on, you’ll be able to sing the songs before the songs even come on.
M: The first single that’s obviously been blowing up and sort of reminds me of like a “Gin ‘N Juice” because it is such a party anthem, “Young, Wild, & Free,” tell us a little about the background of that song.
W: Yeah, that song came together, that was a magical moment right there; you couldn’t even make that happen. No label or anything sent that to us. Snoop had the record and he believed in it.
He said, ‘Yo, I have the perfect song that represents the high school theme and it spans just different age ranges. Older people can mess with it and younger people as well. We did as far as the lyrics, we put it get together like that. I think that was the beauty of the whole thought. We didn’t try to come up with some crazy formula for how to make it how it was. That magic and everything was already there. We just had to make it [makes blowing noise] and the rest is history.
S: Blowing up.
M: With this being a high school movie, how were you both in high school? What kind of student were you Snoop and what kind of student were you Wiz?
W: Well, I was cool. I was kind of laid-back. I always did music and I could have made better grades than I did but, y’know, I was more creative.
S: I passed all my classes. I was a “C” student. I’m sure you know why. But, umm, I could have did better as well but I didn’t really push myself. I was more into being the class clown, rapping, messing with the girls, trying to gang bang, just trying to figure me out because I was a teenager that was lost.
That’s why it’s fun to go back and make a character and put him on screen and make him perfect; exactly the way that you want him to be. Y’know, with a little bit of the flaws that I had in school and then adding some fiction to it as well.
M: So, it is kind of based on your high school experience. Some of it.
M: Just take it to the next level. A lot of smoke.
S: Oh, plenty of that.
M: The soundtrack, I mean, one of my favorite songs on it is the first one, “Smoking On.” The album just came out yesterday, you guys must be stoked: is there a personal favorite on there for both of you?
W: Yeah, shout out to Juicy J on “Smoking On.” I think one of my favorites is “Study,” “You Could Put It In A Zag,” and “Talent Show.”
M: [To Snoop] What about you?
S: I like “World Class.” That’s like my son. It’s like when I’m rapping that song, that’s me being him. Like a lot of this music, I was rapping from my son’s perspectives because he is a 17-year-old senior.
It’s crazy just to see him last night when the song came on and he was rocking to that song. To me that’s like my song because Wiz on the hook is saying some real stuff, “Not trying to be right/not trying to be wrong/I’m just trying to make it out there on my own/I know I say a lot of things/but I probably stay the same.”
M: What about your kids having Snoop as Dad? Do they treat you like Snoop?
S: Yeah, my kids make me cool, man. I love having kids and seeing them grown into young men and my daughter growing to a young girl.
It makes me cool to be able to go to their school and, y’know, sit back and watch them play sports or do a talent show. You know what I’m saying, be a part of their world and just be a regular dad. I mean, to me, I love kids and to have my own kids is a blessing.
M: And your actually, with the kids, you have benefit coming up; you’re going to be on the Price Is Right like the first celebrity week.
S: C’mon now, you know I love the Price Is Right. Shout out to Bob Barker my homeboy.
M: I think it’s Drew Carey. Is Drew Carey now the host?
S: Yeah, but I’m talking about the O.G. Bob Barker, you know what I’m saying. [Does Bob Barker Voice] ‘A new car!’
M: Holiday’s coming up? Any holiday plans?
W: No, we got the soundtrack that just dropped. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer. We just went on tour and finished it off here in L.A., so we just gonna cool out. We’re working on number two so we might just go back in the studio since we got some time off.
M: Like a number two just album? Or a number two soundtrack and another movie?
S: Soundtrack and the movie, yeah. It’s so much magic that we created, we got it now. Even though we knew we had it when we had it, it’s proof in the pudding now.
We just went around the world and were just out doing what we do, so we know that if we go back into the studio again, we’re going to make some more magic. We knew that if we go back on screen again we’re going to make some more magic because it’s what the people want. They love to see Snoop and Wiz together because this is brotherhood. This is love right here.
M: When can we expect the movie?
S: February, March. Somewhere around there.