The outrage, protests, and unfortunately the riots that followed the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in Baltimore, have captured the attention of the nation. There has been no shortage of commentary on social media, but on Wednesday, Apr. 29, Wale took it upon himself to actually visit the city and speak directly to the teenagers there.
The DMV rapper was accompanied by local leader, Rev. Jamal Bryant, during his visit to Frederick Douglass High School.
It was their first day back in the classroom, after schools were closed by the mayor on Tuesday, when a state of emergency was declared. Wale explained that he was upset after hearing rioters being referred to as "thugs" in the media.DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG
"These are the young leaders of tomorrow," he told MyFox D.C. "Regardless of what's happening out here, they have to look in the mirror and see something better than what they're being perceived as on TV.
"And if it's going to take me, or whoever, to come down here and talk to them and give them some energy and let them know that that's not how I see them, that's not how we see them..." he continued. "They're just like me and you. In life you go through hard times and we're having one right now in Baltimore and I think we need to hold each other down."
Speaking to students in the classroom, he explained that he's still a police target, despite his success.
"I've been harassed by police. And even in my state now -- I'm a millionaire -- they harass me regardless," he said, passionately. "TSA and all that. [So] I get it. I'm here to listen first and foremost. I'm ya'll neighbor, I'm D.C. but I hurt like ya'll hurt, I see whats going on."
Around the three-minute mark below, you can catch Wale's interview.DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG