Wale wants his just due.
In fact, the Maybach Music rapper is so passionate about his music, that he called a Complex magazine editor and reportedly threatened to start “knocking out” members of the editorial staff last week after he was left off of the publication’s list of the Top 50 Best Albums Of 2013.
The threat, which the magazine recorded, was made public on Friday by the Complex staff and has drawn a ton of reaction in the hip-hop world. Wale himself immediately got a call from his Roc Nation boss, Jay Z.
“That’s the very first thing Jay told me, ’You just validated it,’ ” Wale recalled when he sat down with New York’s Hot 97 morning show hosts Ebro Darden and Peter Rosenberg for an interview that hit the ’Net on Monday night. “Everybody brought [the subject up] to me that day. I’m talking about Jay, [Jay Z’s right-hand man] Ty Ty, everybody top to bottom. Q-Tip called me, Primo.”
Wale dropped his third solo LP, The Gifted, back in June and secured the #1 spot on Billboard’s albums chart. The album produced a platinum single with “Bad” and deep lyrical moments on songs like “Heaven’s Afternoon,” “Golden Salvation (Jesus Piece)” and the Michael Jordan ode, “88.” With all of the work he put in, the Washington, D.C., rapper couldn’t fathom how he was left off the multi-genre list that included rappers like Juicy J, A$AP Ferg, Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino, Danny Brown and Complex’s #1 pick Kanye West.
“You just coming off a monumental Grammy snub, Spin, and all these other people, they’re not appreciating what you and your fans stand for. I take that personal,” Wale explained. “I work hard man; I’m around a lot of these artists that they’re promoting — they don’t care about the game as much as I do.”
The “LoveHate Thing” rapper admits to having a troubled past with the media, blaming his tendency to be socially awkward. But he insisted that Complex’s snub is personal.
“There’s a lineage of things that I’ve seen in the past couple of years, there’s been red flags,” he said before referencing an old beef with Kid Cudi, an artist that has been on the cover of Complex on a number of occasions. “I believe that me and Cudi’s fallout had something to do with their lack of support.”
Back in September 2010, Cudi aired his grievances with Wale in a Complex cover story. “We don’t f— with you musically,” Cudi said, alluding to what he felt was the status of Wale’s relationship with Kanye West and the rest of Cudi’s G.O.O.D. Music family at the time. (Cudi is no longer with the label.)
“I just felt like, ’Damn, y’all getting my friend to kick me when I’m down?’ ” Wale told the Hot 97 hosts of that interview. “Moving forward, they’ve just always had this elitist, like, ’we don’t like you thing.'”
Throughout the duration of the 23-minute raido interview, Wale offered no apologies to the magazine’s staff. “I’m not begging no Williamsburg hipster to like me,” he scoffed.
He did however apologize to Juicy J, whom he blasted for having made the list over him: “I apologize to Juicy J because it felt like it was at his expense.