Wiz Khalifa's Black And Yellow Takes Inspiration From This Iconic Sports Franchise

Few performers in the music industry set out with the intention of having a song become an ersatz sports anthem for a specific team. Did Alan Parsons (of the Alan Parsons Project) write "Sirius" with the hope that it would someday become the theme song of the Chicago Bulls? Not at all, but we're going to assume that he's glad to cash the checks postmarked from Chicago. We're going to assume that most unofficial or official team anthems weren't written specifically for that purpose (although Steve Goodman's "Go Cubs Go" definitely was — or at least, Goodman hoped so, and he got his wish).

As The Hollywood Reporter explains, Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow" has been the unofficial/official anthem of the Pittsburgh Steelers (which, not ironically, wear black and yellow on their uniforms) for at least a decade. It's even expanded to become the unofficial anthem of other teams (the Green Bay Packers and their fans have replaced "black and yellow" with "green and yellow," for example). Khalifa might not have intended for the song to become associated with any Pittsburgh team, and indeed, the song mentions neither sports nor Pittsburgh itself. But Khalifa certainly meant for the tune to represent his adopted hometown; that it became associated with one of its teams is definitely an added bonus.

Pittsburgh: Wiz Khalifa's Adopted Hometown

Wiz Khalifa (born Cameron Jibril Thomaz, per Biography) wasn't born in Pittsburgh, and in fact, wasn't even born in Pennsylvania. He was born in North Dakota to a father serving in the military. As such, he lived here and there throughout his childhood, but he eventually wound up in Pittsburgh, the city that he would grow to claim as his own. For example, a 2006 mixtape was entitled "Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania," which, to be fair, doesn't exactly extol the virtues of the Steel City.

Khalifa hit it big in 2010 with the release of "Black and Yellow," and the song is an ode, of a sort, to his adopted hometown. We say "of a sort" because the song doesn't paint the best picture of the city. In fact, the lyrics don't mention Pittsburgh at all, nor do they mention the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rather, they are mostly about Wiz living large and enjoying the high life; he does, however, throw a bit of a lyrical shoutout to the city: "Reppin' my town, when you see me you know everything," he says, per iTunes.

What Does This Have To Do With The Steelers?

Wiz Khalifa didn't write "Black and Yellow" specifically to reference the Steelers — at least, not directly. Rather, he wrote it to represent Pittsburgh in general, as he told The Wall Street Journal: "I definitely wrote it with Pittsburgh pride in general." The Pittsburgh Steelers, however, with their black and yellow colors (or more specifically, black and gold, but Wiz needed four syllables to preserve the meter of his song), definitely noticed and made it their song. However, there's actually more to it. Specifically, all Pittsburgh sports teams — the Pirates, the Steelers, the Penguins, and even its minor-league soccer team, the Riverhounds — use black and gold/yellow as their color scheme, varying subtle differences in shade notwithstanding. 

According to the Pittsburgh City Paper, the city's colors have officially been black and gold since 1899, dating back to the Pitt family crest, and the city's sports teams have all adopted the color scheme. In fact, Pittsburgh is the only American city where all of its professional sports teams adhere to the same color pattern. So as such, when Wiz sings "black and yellow," he's repping the Steelers, the city's other professional sports teams, and the city itself, all in one three-word phrase.