Home Culture Culture Lists

Photos and Video: Wiz Khalifa, Cage the Elephant and the Smith Westerns Rock the Year’s Coolest Looks

Plus: Watch Wiz Khalifa roll a joint at his photo shoot

Photograph by Theo Wenner, styling by Lester Garcia

"I try to stay medicated all day," says Pittsburgh rapper Khalifa, whose smash "Black and Yellow" is the breakout hip-hop hit of the year.

The Hottest Breakout Stars of 2011: Wiz Khalifa

Khalifa's sweatshirt by D&G, jeans by CK One

Photograph by Theo Wenner, styling by Lester Garcia

Matthew Shultz of Cage the Elephant

Kentucky crew Cage the Elephant's second Pixies-meets-White Stripes LP, Thank You Happy Birthday, comes from a surprisingly pastoral place. Cage recorded it in log cabins near their home state's Barren River Lake. "We slowed down and paid attention to detail," says frontman Matthew Shultz.

Rolling Stone Live: Cage the Elephant Go High Energy Without Electricity

Breaking: Cage the Elephant

Matthew’s sweatshirt and jeans by Levi's, T-shirt by Calvin Klein, shoes by Vans.

Photograph by Theo Wenner, styling by Lester Garcia

Cage the Elephant

The band's nonmusical inspirations include filmmaker David Lynch. "I'd like to do a music video that's as awkward and disturbing as [one of Lynch's movies]," says Matthew Shultz. "That'd be amazing."

Rolling Stone Live: Cage the Elephant Go High Energy Without Electricity

Breaking: Cage the Elephant

Brad's shirt by the Elder Statesman, T-shirt by Diesel, jeans by Levi's, shoes by Vans; Matthew's shirt and jeans by Levi's, socks by American Apparel, shoes by Vans.

Play video

Cage the Elephant: Behind the Scenes

On set with the buzz band as they pose for Rolling Stone and recall their memorable festival performances in the States and abroad.

Rolling Stone Live: Cage the Elephant Go High Energy Without Electricity

Breaking: Cage the Elephant

Photograph by Theo Wenner, styling by Lester Garcia

Smith Westerns

Chicago's Smith Westerns recorded their Nuggets- inspired 2009 debut on the cheap in a North Side basement while singer- guitarist Cullen Omori, 20, his bassist brother Cameron, 19, and guitarist Max Kakacek, 20, were still in high school. After graduating, they entered a real studio for the first time to capture the more polished, poppy sound of this year's Dye It Blonde. "[Our debut] was the type of music we could make when we were 17," says Cullen. "Now our playing ability allows us to listen and reinterpret a lot more."

Band of the Week: The Sixties-Inspired Smith Westerns

Rolling Stone Live: Smith Westerns Play Acoustic Versions of Their Lush Power Pop Tunes

From left: Cameron's sweatshirt by Gap; Cullen's jacket by Tommy Hilfiger.

Show Comments