Street King: Wale
Holding It Down For: DMV
Mixtape: More About Nothing
Real Spit: Yes, the DJ Omega-hosted More About Nothing tape was a trending topic on Twitter when it came out about a week ago, and Mr. Folarin says he got over 100,000 downloads in less than 90 minutes when it dropped. A nice little ego booster, but Wale says he still feels the same way about selling 28,000 the first week his LP Attention Deficit (2009) dropped.
“It damages your pride, your ego, it makes you think you’re not doing something right,” [artist id="2990927"]Wale[/artist] said in his hometown of Washington, D.C. “I wanted to channel the Wale [that existed] before I ever signed a record deal.”
Wale’s most critically acclaimed mixtape is 2008′s Mixtape About Nothing, so he wanted to take it back to his roots. He says he feels like he’s not signed. He’s hungry.
“That’s why you hear that vigor and hunger in my voice while I’m rapping. I was trying to go super-crazy in the booth to let them know that the hunger is still there. It’s to my label, the fans, to the doubters. I’m trying to prove myself. A lot of people try to reinvent themselves. I’m trying to define myself. It’s almost like it was a rough draft of my mission statement before, but this is the final draft. If y’all didn’t know who Wale was before, you know now. And the play on Nothing is that a lot people are saying nothin’, but we’re saying somethin’ now.”
He has a lot to say on a particular track called “The Friends ‘n’ Strangers,” where he addresses a certain “Man on the Moon.” And we don’t mean the VMA Moonman.
Joints to Check For
» “The MC.” “You have to listen to this record. It’s not because I feel it’s the strongest song, but my whole brand is about fly stuff. Women, clothes, hip-hop culture. Everybody from Diddy to Jay — I hate to name-drop — they talk about the show. ‘Have you seen the show? Wale’s live show?’ One day I was in Diddy’s crib and he said, ‘The song is cool, but everybody talks about the live show.’ So I got in the studio and said, how can I make the song feel like a live show? So that’s how ‘The MC’ was created. It defines me. A lot of energy, spittin’. We’re gonna use that song for a lot of years to come.”
» “The Friends ‘n’ Strangers.” “Friends are like seasons a little bit,” Wale explains. “It’s kinda talking about a personal relationship I had with one of my friends in the industry. And a relationship I had about two or three years ago with a lady I was kinda real close to. I was feeling pressure to be in a serious relationship when I just needed that moral support.”
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