Wiz Khalifa may be a multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, chart-topping rapper, but he’s still determined to keep it real when it comes to his son. However, not everyone is particularly impressed with one of his parenting choices. Here’s a look at how a simple school bus journey sent the internet into meltdown.
Born in North Dakota in 1987, Khalifa – then known as Cameron Jibril Thomaz – had a peripatetic childhood, residing in the U.K., Germany and Japan before ultimately putting down roots in Pittsburgh. And he first caught attention for his rapping skills through a mixtape promoting several emerging talents in his hometown. That exposure led Khalifa on to bigger things, in fact, as he subsequently signed a deal with Rostrum Records and, in 2005, dropped his debut mixtape.
After releasing his first studio effort, Show and Prove, in 2006, Khalifa also inked a short-lived deal with Warner Bros. Success eventually followed too, as in 2008 the rapper scored his first Billboard chart entry with “Say Yeah.” The following year also saw him support Wu-Tang Clan’s U-God at New York City’s CMJ Music Marathon, while in 2010 he was crowned by The Source magazine as “Rookie of the Year.” Khalifa then justified the hype with a U.S. number one.
Referencing the official colors of his Pittsburgh hometown, “Black and Yellow” topped the U.S. charts in 2010, sending the rapper’s career stratospheric. Its 2011 parent album, Rolling Papers, also sold nearly 200,000 copies in its first week to peak at number two on the Billboard 200. And that same year, Khalifa picked up the BET Award for Best New Artist.
Khalifa also reached number two in the charts with his 2012 L.P., O.N.I.F.C., before going one better with 2014’s Blacc Hollywood. The rapper also released collaborative EPs with Curren$y and Ty Dolla $ign before scoring his second number one single. Penned as a tribute to the late The Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker, Charlie Puth collaboration “See You Again” spent 12 weeks at the top spot.
Then in 2015 Khalifa performed with Fall Out Boy at the Billboard Music Awards, going on to join the band on their U.S. tour. A year later, meanwhile, he dropped his first compilation record, Khalifa, and filed a lawsuit against Rostrum Records and its president Benjy Grinberg over a contract dispute. And in 2018 Khalifa reached number two on the Billboard 200 for the third time with Rolling Papers 2.
However, Khalifa is arguably almost as renowned for his weed habit as his rapping skills. During his early career, in fact, the star spent a jaw-dropping $10,000 per month on the drug. In 2014 he even teamed up with The Cookie Company to launch his very own strain, Khalifa Kush. The chart-topper was also apprehended for marijuana possession and trafficking while on his 2010 “Waken Baken” tour.
And Khalifa’s private life has also often taken attention away from his music. The rapper became a tabloid sensation in 2011 when he started stepping out with Amber Rose, a model who once guested in the video for Khalifa’s single “No Sleep.” After getting engaged a year later, the pair walked down the aisle in the summer of 2013.
Sadly, Khalifa and Rose split two years later, with Rose pursuing divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. The model had initially planned to fight for sole custody of their only child, Sebastian Taylor Thomaz; however, the couple eventually came to an agreement by which they would share the responsibility of looking after their son.
Then in 2018 Khalifa proudly posted a photo to Instagram of his son heading out for his first day at kindergarten. The star could be seen waving to the camera as five-year-old Sebastian waited for the school bus. However, this charming image soon riled up some of his followers.
Indeed, several people wondered why a man reportedly worth millions of dollars would send his kid to kindergarten on public transport rather than in a flashy car. “Father of the year? He couldn’t even pick up his own child from his first day of school,” commented one disgruntled follower. Another wrote, “Rode the bus..? Take your kid to school wtf.”
But Khalifa soon put all the naysayers in their places when, in a follow-up Instagram post, he revealed the reason behind the mode of transport. He said, “All y’all people asking why I would let my son ride the bus, cause I’m rich. And he said he wanted to ride the bus with his friends, so let kids do what they want to do. Chill.”
And Khalifa received support from several of his followers for not showing off his considerable wealth. “I liked that your son got to ride the bus. It made him feel more like a normal kid, and I’m sure he loved it!” commented one user. Another wrote, “Good for you for letting him ride a bus with his friends. I think it’s cool. Nothing wrong with it.”
And Sebastian’s mother doesn’t appear to have had a problem with her ex’s choice of transport, either. Amber Rose also posted a video clip of her son sitting on the bus on a different school day. Alongside several relevant emojis, the model captioned the footage, “I cried, but he was such a big boy.”
What’s more, Khalifa later spoke about the school bus incident in a September 2018 interview with Billboard. He said, “I figured I’d just use my platform to get my point across in a non-defensive manner. If the negativity has a voice, I wanted to give the positive side a voice. I’m happy I did it.”
“There wasn’t any pressure or anything,” the rapper then continued. “I felt like sticking up for my son. He’s going to be mine forever. Now, down the road he can be like, ‘My dad stuck up for me and defended me regardless.’ That’s my little man.”
And while speaking to Billboard, Khalifa also revealed that he ignored anyone who questioned his approach to being a father. The hip-hop star explained, “I’m so confident in my parenting skills and what I have to offer to other people that they will look at the positive side. The negative doesn’t really impact me. My relationship is with my son. As long as he’s good, I don’t listen to too much of the outside noise.”
However, it’s worth noting that Khalifa had previously expressed his worries about Sebastian – also known as Bash – starting school. He wrote in an Instagram post, “I’m super nervous and confident at the same time. I know I prepared him for this, and he’s more than ready to handle what’s next. Love you, Bash.”
Footage of Sebastian getting ready for his first day at kindergarten was also included in a YouTube channel set up by Khalifa. And in another Instagram post, published in September 2018, the rapper assured his followers that the channel was all his son’s doing. He said, “If you got kids, you know how much they watch other kids. And this was all Bash’s idea, so enjoy.”
Sebastian’s YouTube fame isn’t the only example of him following in his father’s footsteps, however. Indeed, in a September 2018 interview with Us Weekly, his mother Amber revealed that the youngster already has an eye for the ladies. She said, “My son is girl-crazy. I didn’t like boys until I was 14. I’m like, ‘You’re five!’ He’s a lot like his daddy.”