From a fan's perspective, it's easy to believe that artists live a completely glamorous and privileged life -- but that's only half of the story. Fame comes complete with a new and unique set of problems, including the uncomfortable feeling of living your life under a magnifying glass.
On The Album About Nothing, Wale raps openly and passionately about this turmoil, and he tells MTV News that coping with the pitfalls of fame has proven to be a constant and painful struggle for him.
"I love making music and I love my fans, but I don't like being famous," the DMV rapper admitted to us on Monday, just a day before his album was released. "I don't like the responsibility of having to acknowledge every person the way they want to be acknowledged."
"I get anxiety because somebody always feels like you didn't give them the proper greeting, and that stuff has been a hindrance to me, because some people would come back and say 'Wale was rude.' Your every move, your every mannerism is being watched. And to think about it, it makes me sweat and my heart beats fast. I'm under a microscope all the time."
Wale, in particular, has dealt with a lot of backlash for his demeanor, attitude, and sometimes for his decision to respond to fans and media who criticize him. All of that has added up over the years, and now he feels like he's constantly facing the "fake hate Wale campaign" that casts a shadow on his career.
The Internet has definitely become a breeding ground for bullying, and during our interview Wale pointed out that just earlier in the day, users on Twitter had been laughing at him, after a blog pointed out that he suffers from anxiety.
"Where's the joke?" he asked, rhetorically. "I don't understand how that could be funny. You get death threats daily, then you go to the airport and they want pictures -- these are the same people. So I'm trying to find the answers. Am I crazy or is the world crazy?
"You become young, rich and famous," he added. "If you think this money's gonna make [problems] go bye bye, no sir."
And, unfortunately, even face-to-face meetings with fans turn into strange circuses.
"I'll stick my hands out to shake their hands, and all they're thinking about is their Snapchats," he said.
"Nobody even wants to shake hands no more. They just wanna take pictures. I'm like a moving, breathing statue. It makes me envy the '90s when you could actually rock a party, because people didn't have any options, it's just you and them. Now, when they see you, it's like -- what can I do with this person to make myself look more important?"
"I used to be so bright-eyed and super happy-go-lucky about stuff like that, now it's gotten me to be a little bit uncomfortable in public sometimes," he said.
Although therapy is often a taboo subject in minority communities, Wale explained that he did give it a shot, but realized that it might not be the best solution for him, personally.
"I find that the most successful therapy is through unraveling it with people you love, slowly. Rather than going in front of a stranger who's clinically trained to break you down," he said.