Rapper Wale may be one of the longest “overnight successes” in the history of hip-hop. The 27-year-old released “Paint A Picture,” his first of seven mixtapes, in 2005 and aligned himself with the resurgence of go-go music, a regional funk subgenre popular in his native D.C. After teaming up with Mark Ronson and Lily Allen in 2007, releasing his Seinfeld-obsessed Mixtape About Nothing in 2008 and only then releasing debut album Attention Deficit in 2009, the rapper joined up with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group earlier this year. Later this week, Wale is set to release Ambition, his disparate follow-up featuring “Lotus Flower Bomb” and “Slight Work,” and melding dark, ominous synths, R&B hooks and club-friendly anthems.
We’ve been big Wale fans for years, and this week we’ve got no lack of Wale interviews and videos with the MTV PUSH artist that’ll make you an instant Wale expert. In the first video, the rapper discusses what he learned from the marketing and promotion of 2009’s Attention Deficit that he hopes to avoid for Ambition. As the subsequent videos show, the mixtape veteran born Olubowale Victor Akintimehin has always been confident about his abilities, stating, “I could always steal the show with music,” before listing what hip-hop albums influenced him growing up.
Thanks to Sucker Free, we also get to hear about the importance of touring — “You never really know how hot or not hot you are until you go on tour,” Wale says — and how the experience helps the rapper decide on his next single (democracy in action!). Finally, learn about all the guest spots on Ambition — think Wale’s Maybach Music peers for a start — and check out the video for mixtape standout “Bait” to get hyped for the official album.
Ambition is out Nov. 1 on Maybach Music/Warner.
+ WALE ON WHAT HE LEARNED FROM HIS FIRST ALBUM:
+ WALE ON HIS CONFIDENCE IN MUSIC:
+ WALE ON HIS MUSICAL INFLUENCES:
Watch more Wale videos and interviews after the jump.
+ WALE ON TOURING:
+ WALE ON ’AMBITION’: