Furious 7 has broken box office records this week as it became the quickest film to bring in over $1 billion worldwide. The latest in the Fast and Furious franchise features an emotional tribute to Paul Walker, who died before the film was completed. During the final scene in the movie, Walker’s character Brian O’ Conner is driving off into the sunset while Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” (featuring vocals by Charlie Puth) plays in the background.
Due to the immense popularity of Furious 7, the song, which appears on the Furious 7 soundtrack, quickly rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Initially, “See You Again” debuted at No. 100, but in just five weeks it took the top spot—even toppling the 14-week reign of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” During its ascension, “See You Again” also broke two Spotify records: the most streams in a single day (April 13) and the most streams in a single week (April 6 to April 12). So far, Wiz is the only artist to take two No. 100s (his last was 2010's "Black and Yellow") to No. 1 in the chart's history.
This started from the bottom story rarely happens. With the track still reigning at No. 1, BET.com got on the phone with Wiz to speak on its success, how the song came together, future projects and more.
BET.com: Your song “See You Again” has over 90 million views on YouTube. How do you feel about its success?
Wiz Khalifa: It’s cool. No. 1 records are always good for having s**t that people can celebrate and feel good about. And it’s a really dope song too. The fact that it connects with so many people, that’s what is really, really important for me so I’m f**king with it.
And Charlie Puth, who sings the hook, secretly wanted to have you on the song the whole time.
Yeah, man. Charlie is a great artist. He’s a really good writer. He said the same thing to me. When he wrote it, he was like, ‘We gotta have Wiz on there,’ which is dope. That’s just means he’s a visionary and he knows how to put together great records, so that was cool.
When did you write your part?
I wrote the first verse—I was in the studio with Snoop in the compound and we were just chilling. And the second part, I actually got into another studio in Hollywood and mixed it up.
Did you look at your family for inspiration?
Yeah, definitely. My whole objective was to make something that everybody can connect with. It feels personal, but it’s something that everybody can feel too. It’s not so personal that you’re disconnected to it. Basically, that was my mindframe for it. Think about family in general. Not necessarily my family or someone else’s family that everybody goes through in that situation.
Charlie initially wrote the song about a friend who died abruptly in a car accident. When you heard the hook, how did it connect with you?
When I first heard the hook, it didn’t have Charlie on it. So I didn’t get to really feel it the same way. But when I heard Charlie’s voice and [he’s] actually singing it, it made more sense. It was a lot of inspiration [from his hook]. I had a lot of good direction from the Fast & Furious people as far as the texture of the song and how they wanted it to feel. What was most important, too, was to make sure that it was a celebration of life. You know, to reflect on things, but also just to celebrate what we’ve been through.
What is your favorite part about Furious 7?
It’s a good movie. It’s full of action. My favorite part was probably when fucking Vin Diesel and the crazy dude, they was playing chicken. Instead of anybody moving, these mother**kers crashed straight into each other. That was pretty tight.
What are you working on this year?
I put my tour together for this summer with me and Fall Out Boy, which is going to be really dope. I got my artists on Taylor Gang. Ty Dolla $ign, his album is coming out. Juicy J is dropping another album. We are always doing independent releases. I’m working on a new album, just always recording and shit. Me and Ty just dropped an EP. IT’s called Talk About It in the Morning. We’re actually shooting a video off that this week. We are going to put it out pretty soon. S**t is everywhere.
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(Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Dodge)