Wiz Khalifa wants to share his art and music with the Deaf community, and sign language interpreters Holly Maniatty, Joann Benfield, and Amber Galloway Gallego are helping him with that. On the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, Khalifa performed his famous song “Black and Yellow" while the three ladies took turns signing the lyrics.
American Sign Language is a very demonstrative and expressive visual language, so it would only make sense that it would combine a language and performance at the same time. Statistics on Deaf Americans range because of the different scales that measure a person's level of deafness. According to Gallaudet Research Institute about two to four of every 1,000 people in the United States are "functionally deaf.” Anywhere from nine to 22 out of every 1,000 people have a severe hearing impairment or are deaf, and 37 to 140 out of every 1,000 people in the United States have some kind of hearing loss.
ASL interpretation is, as the name suggests, an interpretation of verbalized words. So you’ll notice in the video below that the “translations” are not exact interpretations of what Khalifa raps.
The rapper is not that first music star to incorporate ASL into a performance. Wu-Tang Clan performed in Israel and had a sign language interpreter by their side signing the lyrics. Needless to say, their Deaf fans were extremely happy.