While in Colombia performing at a music festival last weekend, Wiz Khalifa found time to visit infamous Medellin drug lord Pablo Escobar’s grave.
With Medellin as his backdrop, Khalifa sparked a joint and was photographed apparently paying his respects to Colombia’s most reviled drug lord.
Once at Pablo Escobar’s grave, Wiz Khalifa laid a freshly rolled joint down among an assortment of other flowers, according to the entertainer’s Instagram:
Regardless of intent, Khalifa’s actions were interpreted by many on social media, particularly Colombians, as glorifying the past violence of Pablo Escobar. Khalifa was met with a mixture of disdain and confusion by his 15 million Instagram followers.
The criticism from his fans ranged from a simple “shame on you” to more elaborate comments chastising the rapper for praising Escobar’s brutal legacy:
Very unfortunate this picture, if you knew how many innocent people died by his command you wouldn’t do that, my country cried blood tears during his time @wizkhalifa I hope you can one day understand that
Very disrespectful. As an african american, you should know about the East St. Louis Race Riot in 1917, or the Tulsa Massacre in 1921 where an estimate of 300 black were murdered. Just imagine foreign people paying tribute to the murders, instead of the victims. Pablo killed over 4000 colombians. As an african american, put yourself in the shoes of colombians. Wrong move. And thanks for the apology but it is understandable why some of us feel offended. Peace!
Smh; Americans will never understand the terror Pablo put on his country. Y’all glorify him because of his wealth and the power he had but yet forget he bombed streets and stores killing CHILDREN and others. But y’all glorify that shit.
Still, other fans came to the rapper’s defense:
so americans (tourtist) can visit the roberto escobar and take pictures of pablos mansion and nobody panics but wiz ( a celebrity) takes a pic in his grave and suddenly everyone looses their mind, y’all are hypocrites
Why is Colombia trippin? ???? it’d be disrespectful if he didn’t lay flowers or ash on his grave like he didn’t give a fuck. @wizkhalifa stay blessed.
In response to the backlash, Wiz issued this lackluster apology on his Instagram page, indicating he meant no harm by his actions:
Khalifa clearly struck an unintentional nerve with these posts that likely had less to do with Escobar’s violent tendencies and everything to do with Escobar’s legend. But intentions don’t matter when you have 15 million followers –when posting something that may be interpreted as morally incorrect, you invite criticism.
Still, it’s unlikely Khalifa will be welcomed back to Colombia anytime soon. Medellin’s mayor, Federico Gutierrez, condemned Khalifa’s actions by saying, “That scoundrel, instead of bringing flowers to Pablo Escobar, he should have brought flowers to the victims of violence in this city.”
Gutierrez also demanded an apology to the city — and is likely not pleased with Wiz’s indifferent shrug of an apology. Nonetheless, welcome in Colombia or not, Wiz is likely to continue smoking at whomever’s grave he chooses.
Khalifa’s actual intention was likely simple: to take pictures of himself smoking a doobie at the most famous dead gangster’s grave. But, if Khalifa did some research, there could be a little more to the story. Before Escobar ever sold a bump of cocaine, he hustled weed on the streets of Medellin.
While Pablo Escobar gained notoriety for trafficking cocaine, he actually preferred smoking cannabis. In fact, cannabis was Pablo’s only drug of choice, according to first-hand accounts of his life.