Wale on Growing Up, Maturing as a Rapper: "I Like to Make Every Rhyme Count"
Wale's third full-length release, The Gifted, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 when it dropped in July.
But the DC rapper still hasn't scored a platinum single, and he's cool with that fact. Because in an era dominated by quick hits, he's into making albums. And eventually, he plans to sell enough to buy the Washington Redskins.
On September 10, you can see Wale live on his first major headlining tour alongside J. Cole at the James L Knight Center in Miami. Here's what he has to say about Bob Dylan, South Beach's LIV nightclub, and running with Haitians.
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Crossfade: You rap about buying a sports team. Which one you going for?
Wale: Redskins or somethin' like that. I gotta get my money up. But when I get there, Imma try to do it.
You've called out the Washington media in your raps.
It's not like the Washington Post, more like the Gazette. They try to hold you down no matter what 'cause they hate their life, they wanna hold the position that I'm not deserving of anything, try to say some stuff about me.
Do you follow the interpretations of your music on Rap Genius?
I'm a fan of that. They get it right like 80 percent of the time. It be off sometimes
How does your heritage play into your style?
I'm just very vocal. My culture is Nigerian and we love to dance and be joyful. We have a soulful religion, a lot of singing and dancing, and I think I'm very soulful as well. I've also started working with Nigerian rappers like Wiz Kid.
There's a lot of Nigerians in South Florida. You have any plans to work with talent down here?
That's coming soon. I'm still looking for artists from all walks of life. I've been thinking of moving to South Florida to live. I just want to see if I can keep myself out of LIV.
Why, in an era of singles, do you make albums meant to be consumed whole?
I love it. I wanna sell records, and I want my message to come across, whatever that may be, and that's the way of the future. It's the day of the single 'cause you can have that platinum single, but I'd much rather have what I have. I've never had a platinum single of my own.