#WaleFlail Wale was supposed to take D.C. rap global. Instead, he tried to be everything to everyone.

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Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Before Wale, D.C. officially didn’t have any famous rappers.

Sure, there had been a few ’hood favorites, a few underground talents, and a few major-label albums—most of which wound up in the bargain bin. Washington, according to prevailing music-industry logic, was a go-go town. Audiences interested in local music gravitated toward the percussive homegrown sound.

So the local hip-hop scene stayed small. The regional infrastructure needed to entice big record companies never developed. Some local rappers found success in Europe, but for the most part, D.C. hip-hop remained local.

In November 2009, Wale was supposed to change all that.

For several years before that, the rapper born Olubowale Victor Akintimehin had been the great hope of the city’s hip-hop scene. Born in the District and raised by his Nigerian parents in suburban Maryland, Wale was said to have it all: He had attracted a local following by nodding to the go-go tradition, but also demonstrated significant hipster appeal by incorporating buzzy electronica and indie rock into his beats. He had the sort of wordsmith’s flow that made him a plausible candidate for nationwide critical darling. Local boosters expected a commercial crossover to lead the city to mainstream relevance.

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It was a lot to put on the then-25-year-old MC. Wale collapsed magnificently under the weight.

Released on Interscope Records, Wale’s big-budget debut album Attention Deficit was a schizophrenic mess. It tried to reach everyone from L.A. cokeheads to D.C. real heads, and missed on all fronts. The record flopped, D.C. didn’t become the next hip-hop mecca, and Wale definitely didn’t become an instant rap star.

Ambition, Wale’s sophomore album, is out this week. Released by the celebrated Miami rapper Rick Ross’ street-hot Maybach Music Group, the record seeks to realign Wale’s chances at stardom: Where Attention Deficit cast Wale as a pop rapper, Ross’ involvement now means he has a co-sign from a titan of lowbrow trunk-rattlers.

It’s a rare do-over for an artist at Wale’s level. These days, few rappers even get a chance to flub a major-label debut, let alone a follow-up.

And yet, to hear Wale tell it, the record is an unimpeachable classic. If you follow him on Twitter, he has already told you this, repeatedly, often using the hash-tag #classicalbum. To a degree, this is the lingua franca of modern hip-hop. Nobody admits to making just pretty good records anymore; every album is a classic in the mind of its creator, even while wider consensus over what deserves such status is becoming rarer in an era of atomized taste and Internet static.

It’s a particularly egregious claim coming from Wale, whose career arc has been so rocky. But it’s also telling. The man the Washington Post called D.C.’s “Great Rap Hope” has been consistently unable, through his music or through his gratingly unfiltered online persona, to present a coherent identity. In seeking to please all of those diverse constituencies, Wale has wound up with aimless records that please no one.

To Wale, “ambition” seems to be a synonym for “hard work”—a reflection, perhaps, of his increased commercial popularity in the last year despite his consistently inconsistent creative output. But there’s more to ambition than sheer perseverance, and on his new album, Wale rarely strives to exceed his previous accomplishments or correct his past errors.

Instead, he treads water, waiting for an audience to form in the puddles.


Wale could have been just another blip on the radar. His 2006 break-out single “Dig Dug (Shake It),” an homage to the go-go group Northeast Groovers, earned some spins on WKYS-FM, a major feat at the time. It didn’t hurt, of course, that Wale’s then-manager, DJ Alizay, was also a KYS disc jockey. But the song never resonated much further than that.

The following year, Wale was plucked from relative obscurity by hipsteratti DJ darlings Mark Ronson—the high-demand soul revivalist responsible for the sound of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black—and Nick Catchdubs. He eventually signed to Interscope Records through Ronson’s Allido imprint. These alliances eased Wale into the market through the then-burgeoning culture of MP3-driven music blogs, where the novelty of a placing a rapper’s voice over an indie dance hit like Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” was an easy sell.

Wale belongs to the first wave of major-label MCs who used blog buzz to circumvent the hometown hustle that rap careers have traditionally been built upon. Online, he had access to a worldwide audience in the infancy of his career. In the beginning, it worked. His Seinfeld-themed, occasionally smart Mixtape About Nothing was warmly received by fans and critics, establishing him as a rare favorite among commercially minded tastemakers and the notoriously fickle conscious-rap sect. Indie canon-builder Pitchfork called Mixtape About Nothingexpertly crafted, exuberantly witty, and endlessly surprising.GQ called Wale “the greatest rapper since Jay-Z.”

Photo Slideshow: Wale at Howard University International Yardfest

Our Readers Say

Wale is kind of the Lebron James of hiphop. He abandoned his home town and values to go down to Miami and play a sidekick role
You obviously have some sort of personal vendetta against Wale. Your piece is more of a vicious attack on Wale's personality than it is a critique of his album. Clearly Wale does not fit the prototype of a celebrity/rapper - he's vulnerable to insults, personal attacks, etc. And he responds to them, as any other non-celebrity would do. But are you really defending on one of 1,000,000 + twitter followers who calls Wale a "fuckin fag" because Wale didn't retweet him? I mean, c'mon dude! Talk about reaching! Why are you SO MAD ANDREW NOZ? This isn't a critique. This isn't even an opinion piece. Definitely not an editorial. Did it make you feel good to have this published? When you look in the mirror do you feel satisfied with yourself (Oh boy oh boy oh boy - I really stuck it to that Wale guy in my bum-azz newspaper that nobody reads!) Step your game up Andrew. There are so many good things to be said about Wale's career and the great album he just released. Predictions are he will sell 200K in the first week. Feel bitter now? Hop off Folarin's back. This piece was pathetic.
^^ is that you, Wale?
Good article.

Interesting how being an asshole on Twitter worked so well for Kanye but so badly for Wale. And just kinda generally weird how Twitter feeds loom so large in album reviews now.
Great article laying out the major issues most people (should) have with Wale. Why didnt you discuss Ambiton (the song) tho? I know Wale's verse is forgettable, but it's still arguably the best song on the album (Think Dear Summer - 534). PS: Wale is projected to sell 170k-190k. That's pretty impressive.
This article read fairly much like the way the writer describes "Attention Deficit". More or less, all over the place, connecting with no one. I would have liked to hear actual insight on Wale from actual listeners as well as DJs and other industry tastemakers on their perspective of Wale instead this insight being gathered through Wale's Twitter feed and his boasts on records. Still trying to figure out what's the aim of the article.
this article is a piece of sh*t. i hope wale and other dc artist keep the courage of their convictions and your fans will love you and your haters will write articles like this
Yungins used to dig in his pockets back in the day at QO, what I heard. But at the same time, respect to the dude for doing his thing even if it may be erratic.

Section 8 MOB
Uptown Roamers is a DC classic without question
I pretty much agree on all points. I'm not a DC native, but I've had the pleasure of seeing some great underground DC talent on the Hip Hop scene. And yes... it is TINY. However, it's vibrant in many ways. Back in the 90's, I thought Question Mark Asylum had potential, but that suave/smooth/r&b rap style or rap was pretty weak... even during an era when it was somewhat cool. Even Nonchalant had about 2 minutes of fame, but... still a no-go. I really thought Wale (again) had potential, and on some of his mixtape verses, he shows signs of brilliance. However, like stated, his actual released production is chaotic and somewhat (very) juvenile. No offense to DC, but your youth doesn't seem to have the HEART for producing a real Hip Hop star. Some good talent, but that's about it for now.
Upon consideration...some comments are right. What about the reaction to Wale in the streets of the city? Local MCs/DJs. Does he do anything in the community to help anyone out?

Why when you see him in the city clubs he's either trying to fake mean mug or geeked up when a woman shows some sort of attention?

More voices and opinions of the city/area in the follow-up article if it's a critique of listeners reactions to his album.

BTW -- Never saw this yungin at Cap City Records.
I kinda believe that this is a personal attack the person who wrote this article more than likely didnt even listen to it! How could you judge one album because of a past album just fromm 11/1/11 Theory the mixtape you can see growth ...i think wale is such a under dog and dont get the respect he is suppose to...Being as though im from Baltimore which is stoll apart of maryland this is shameful dc is suppose to be his home town and you guys gonna publish a bullshit ass article like this...i know we all know Ambition is saying something a 2Grammys from NOW remember THIS comment! #Ambition
I agree with your critiques of Wale as an MC. He believes his own hype and hasn't worked for it. I supported him as a DMV artist from jump, but he just has NOT delivered. I also agree that:
-His twitter persona is just as obnoxious as you point out. Why so sensitive, Wale? Ish is not cute.
-His pandering to women while simultaneously demeaning us irks the hell out of me. I'm a college-educated black woman (and yes, many of us are desperate) and I find the whole "selling to women" to be waaaaay to obvious.

Unfortunately, your tone went a bit too hard, and it makes it seem like you're getting personal. You crossed that line of journalistic objectivity with the first twitter birds with Wale's head pasted on. LOL
This is why I don't read the city paper. Just my opinion but while you may hit some points on the head the paper tends to exaggerate and come of as borderline dishonest to pull in hits. I thought this album was solid. 7.5/10 and I hope Wale does well.
It took this writer over 4 pages to write that he just doesn't like Wale personally, where is the review of the album as a whole, not on what Twitter had to say, This era of social media is beyond ridiculous, where you can't expess your self on a site that was created to do just that.... Unbelievable, someone need to purchase him a copy of Ambition ASAP!!!!! Ambition over everything...
The sad part about this bullshit is that, the writer (who is probably not even from DC) is throwing Wale under the bus for some tweets? A DC artist can't even get love from his local paper? No wonder the DMV hip hop scene is so dismal, you motha hunchies are serious crabs and a barrell around this joint- I'm convinced after this and the million articles about Mayor Barry that: **In my Kanye voice** "City Paper don't like black people"

***And the section 8 mob dude? That album y'all put out back in the day was GARBAGE! What have you jokers done for anybody, except ensure I will always have a comfortable drink coaster with that wack ass CD-
This article is all over the place. I am a huuuuge fan of Wale, I love his style, his flow, his voice. This article seemed like the writer is undecided as to which way he/she wants to write. I mean, not one person alone can look out for allllll the millions of prospective rappers in the DMV. Wale like many of us, have to look out for himself first. Its not like Wale has the bank account of Oprah, my goodness, or the resources as Sean Combs. This man is still trying to be reach a level of satisfaction for himself, let him do that, then he can look out for others, even then he's not obligated to do. Besides many of the rappers out her today still have to answer to others, no matter how big they are. Ask Lil Wayne,TI, Jay-Z for that matter. Only sometimes does money mean power...
I just want to know if his flow has gotten any better. Until that happens...*shrugs*
Tell us how you really feel Cap City Records.
This article is not only poorly written and edited but biased beyond belief.

From the handle "flail" to integration of words like "egregious" it is apparent the "Washington City Paper" is beyond generous and unequivocally an equal opportunity employer by allowing you to circulate such poorly written content under the guise of Writer.

Perhaps Wale could visit to provide a tutorial session on subject-verb agreement, present past participle, similes and metaphors. It is my greatest hope you do not transition this highly personal and unwarranted content to "The Fader" to further exploit him and wage an unnecessary campaign of city-wide and national hate against him.

Wale is unwavering in his loyalty to DC and carries the city in all that he does despite the antics of people like you whom seek to bury him with hate and rally the city against him.

After reading this entire thesis statement I cannot determine where the true review content lies in the article. Instead of going back and forth with you to challenge each stupendous statement I challenge you to objectively review "Ambition" and to jump out of the obvious pocket someone has you in.

Wale evolved tremendously as an artist and possesses the same lyrical prowess as circa 2007 Wale. He is simply now in a different time and place.

It is a huge disappointment that Twitter exchanges have such a large influence on your writing and ability to properly evaluate music for its lyrical content, production, and the traditional measures credentialed music professionals critique.

Nevertheless, there are several objective reviews of "Ambition" from national publications sought and celebrated by the masses for unbiased reviews of music.

So Wale potentially stands to have another WIN in the areas of press and social media because your article will aid in keeping him just as relevant as the classic he just released.

Good Day
A lot of sta...fans came at this piece. It's actually fairly accurate. Wale has ALWAYS floated in some weird place of figuring out what type of rapper he wanted to be. Who is his audience? Does he even know? For every person that praises Ambition, I see another who is stepping off the ship after riding with him and defending him for a long time. Doesn't that say something? I understand riding for your city, but be honest about the artists that come out of it. Supporting for the sake of support is useless.

As much as we may not like to admit, social media plays a big part in music. Especially a site like Twitter where fans may have almost direct access to the people they admire/follow. How you handle that can be very telling. It also relates back to who you are as an artist at times.

While his success is to be applauded, let's not put him on a pedestal he hasn't earned
I heard that the Seinfeld concept for his "Mixtape About Nothing" wasn't even his own idea. He sat down with a marketing team and they came up with it. *shrug*
I actually Noz went easy on him. The album is trash and Wale is a gump. We need for Trel to reach stardom and give the world a proper representation of this city.
This article is a great read...excellently written and really captures the mixed reaction I think a lot of people have toward Wale. Good job Noz.

I saw it as constructive criticism and not as a personal attack. If you dismiss every critique as a personal attack, as an ARTIST, you will not ever grow. Just a thought.

I am not the biggest fan of wales current musical output nor of his public persona, but I am rooting for him to succeed. So are a lot of people. Thanks.
And futher more whos to say he has to have a specific audience thats a no go look a micheal jackson loved by a person as gangsta as lil wayne but also by a country singer like Taylor swift ...half of you probably haven't even heard the album this article is irrelevant!!!
First off, I will agree with you that this album is not a classic. To me it left a little to be desired. I think a couple of tracks from his last mixtape would have worked on the album. But you just seem to be struggling between reviewing the album and attacking Wale personally. What does him being a jerk on twitter have to do with the music? Kanye is an asshole everywhere but he is a great entertainer. And the one tweet you use to illustrate that fact that Wale is a jerk is one where he's being called a fag!? I never get why people think that an artist has to have a specific audience? Why can't he speak to many different people. Tupac is one of the most revered hip hop artist of all time and to say he was all over the place in his music is an understatement. He went from Hit Em Up, to Dear Mama and back a again and did it well. Nas is the same way. You criticize Wale for making ladies tracks and talking about hoes like they don't both exist. I'm sure he's seen both in his lifetime and shouldn't be criticized for speaking to both. I think he's shown growth as an artist since his last album and will continue to improve and I hope this album does well.
While you talking about Wale is a whack rapper, you are a whack writer, this article was trash....it didn't say anything relevant. No body reads this stupid paper anyways...I only came to read this one article
This article forgot to mention that a whoooooole lot of DC natives don't respect or like Wale for lying and claiming to be from and have been raised in DC when he was raised in MD. When I say DC natives, I mean people that were actually raised in NE, NW, SE or SW DC, not MD or VA people that like to think of themselves as being from DC or "the DMV," which a term that is not used by real DC natives that were raised in DC. It is used by radio stations that broadcast in the three areas and by MD and VA resident. DC residents, the rap culture and community, only represent DC.
I feel the writer is entitled to his opinion. And he for the most part stated facts throughout this. A couple points to touch on. Wale was NEVER gonna really be the DC savior for rap. YES he had/has the potential to be the biggest artist out of the DMV but he is no savior. For years local artists have gained the respect and the embrass that Wale has yearned for. The DMV is so talented there is a FLOOD of artist that never broke through but have solid fanbases here locally. From Garvey and Boobie to Fatrel. And on the GoGo side from Tony Blunt and Stinky Dink all the way down to Los from BYB and Killa Cal from The What Band. Wale is viewed as someone who luckily keeps getting a shot at stardom and is always in the right position. Whether he capitalizes off this sencond chance or not, we will see, but he was NEVER viewed as a savior. Respected- YES! But in this city you gotta be real and you gotta have the people with you. I just dont think he mastered his own town yet. Nationally he is viewed in a different light, this was just my view as a DC native and music lover for the past 20 years. I want to see him do well, alot of people dont get a second or 3rd chance to resurrect their careers. As far as his personal issues, he is gonna catch flack because of his character flaws, the rants, the past, and etc. But all in all he is competing musically on a high level. The one to watch out for in that camp is Meek Mill. What the people want Wale to be like to DC, Meek Mill IS THAT for Philly.
Sounds like your hating on the man. He's obviously putting in WORK to get where he needs to be in the music industry & he isnt uding a gimmick like hating or overly disrespecting women or claiming to sell drugs like a lot of these artists do to get heard. You sound like you have something personal against the rapper like many of the local "claim to know Wale" people; its hate rather than support. He is the ONLY artist in the DMV who is getting a big buzz, signed to a major record label & instead of putting in some positive feedback you hate on the man. says alot about who YOU are. Wale in my opinion is a poet and he is actually talking about SOMETHING. he has young people out here focused on being ambitious. they arent just saying it. they have someone who is showing them its good to get ahead and be the best they can be. I dont think Wale abandoned DC because he is signed to a miami based record label. It got him further then being signed to any local record label so fuck off and fuck your opinion. you clearly dont know what your talking about.
FIRST OF ALL, THIS IS ABOUT THE MUSIC, NOT THE MAN. PEOPLE ARE TOO WORRIED ABOUT WHAT SOMEONE IS DOING RATHER THAN WHAT THEY ARE SAYING IN THEIR RECORDS. THE MAN HAS TALENT. LET HIM BE GREAT AND PROGRESS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY. THIS IS A DC BASED PAPER THATS BEING NEGATIVE AGAINST A DC NATIVE. NO WONDER WE CANT GET AHEAD, TOO MUCH NEGATIVITY. WHETHER YOU LIKE THE MAN PERSONALLY OR NOT, DONT EXHIBIT YOUR HATE AND DOWNPLAY HIS WORDPLAY. DUDE IS NICE...AND HAS REAL FANS FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY......SO STFU!
Why is this news? I haven't never heard of this guy nor do I listen to RAP music. I am glad RAP music is losing it's popularity. Black men need more positive role models besides Rappers and sports figures. Too many are thugs and incarcerated.
Hey, N.O. bounce is NOT a "mere hip-hop offshoot"! Bounce started to develop the same time as early hip-hop and it was very much seperate. Please don't be-little it like this!!BTW Cash Money is NOT bounce, it is an offshoot of bounce. Y'all need to check out DJ Jubilee and Pimp-Daddy. New Orleans is THE S**T!
Unfortunately, people like Dr. Van Helsing is the targeted demographic of the Washington City Paper.
Wow, this article feels like a personal attack than an objective piece. Why do you habor ill feelings towards Wale? First rule of joualism is to report the facts without prejudice; I'm surprised this made it to print.
#ArticleFlail - This article is a failingly attempt at "unbiased" journalism. Clearly this is some sort of personal attack rather than an objective review of musical content. Obviously, this journalist (and I use that term loosely) has let his personal feelings get in the way of delivering a piece that covers the topic at hand, which should be the AMBITION ALBUM, not Wale’s tweeter posts. Never have I witnessed one person receive so much backlash from the very place he or she calls home.

Articles like this drive so many of our artists away to other cities in search of opportunities, let alone some sort of support. For years I’ve been trying to defend my city amongst colleagues on how DC isn’t really a “crabs in a barrel” place, that we are just misunderstood, but after reading this article I realize that there may be some truth to that belief.

***Cap City Records Panhandler ***Wale ‘s Food Drive http://theboardadministration.wordpress.com/2010/11/; Wale’s Shoe Drive http://thefabempire.com/2009/12/22/kicks-for-kids-charity-shoe-drive-feat-raheem-devaughn-wale-and-steve-francis/ These are just 2 examples of things he’s been a part of, not to mention his constant teaming up with Mr. Tony Lewis Jr. ..

***Fat Trel Is Better*** Do we really want someone who poses with guns and other paraphernalia on twitter to be the real representation of our city? Contrary to what some may think, he wouldn’t be speaking for the entire area.
Seriously, why is this news? I could care less about this dread locked, sagging pants, fake claiming DC, knowing damn well his ugly black self hating ass from Maryland. I am so sick of mutherfuckers emulating this type of bullshyt and then wondering why (if they don't make it in the NBA or as a rapper) can't find a fuvking job. Cut your fucking hair and pull your got damn pants up.

This is a harsh article, In a time when there is such a small representation of the DMV, We should look at both sides of an album before putting out such harsh criticism.
@ DC Native *wink*

Also some folks cannot read and comprehend. No where in this article did the author say Wale was wack, but he underscores the fact that there is alot of space between wack and elite as in greatness; there is a whole lot of room there!!!!
Wale is average and inconsistent at best, without a signature sound or identity.
This is some bullshit. This man reps DC to the fullest. He one of the few ones from this area that have made it to a major record label. Instead of giving him his props on the week his album drops you guys take give him the front page to call him a failure. City Paper you guys have hit a all time low with this shit. Im glad Dan Snyder sued your ass. this is worst than you Marion Barry "He kick me out the car because I wouln't suck his dick" quote from that crazy ass bi-polar chick he was messing with. The mans album is honestly one of the best Hip Hop albums to come out this year. The man is on track to sell 200k units his first week and is #2 on Itunes right now. And i guest in you guys eyes thats a failure right. From now on I will use the City Paper to eat my crabs that I get from Jessie Taylors (The Wharf).
Good article. I wanted not to appreciate it - as I didn't appreciate the Thievery article, which was a true hack job.

Where it really hits the nail on the head is the new rappers' claims of importance. This album might be memorable to some people for whom it represents a certain time & place, but it's not going down in the history books. Wale making those claims sets himself up for this kind of response.

Is this a Doggystyle, a Ready to Die, an All Eyez on Me ?? Hellz to tha no... Claiming an album is historic, legendary, etc. is going to bring that kind of scrutiny.

I like Wale. I wish him success. I previewed the album on iTunes. I didn't buy it.
This young hoodlum doesn't represent me as a D.C. resident, taxpayer, and voter. He represents the State of Maryland where in should be voting and paying taxes. Some Rap I use to listen to by Wil Smith and Queen Latifah, but the other garbage, I didn't and don't listen to. The same applies to GO Go music. Only uneducated lower class blacks listen to this shit. This is why the black community is such bad shape. We need more Doctors, Educators, Mathematicians, Scientists, Pharmacists, Urologists in the black community. We don't need anymore ghetto ass Rappers and sports players. I agree, pull you dam pants up and get a nice clean cut haircut. How in the hell to you expect to be hired for employment dressing like a thug and speaking ebonics?
i dont feel like its a personal attack i just think he like all of us have and opinion. wale definitely has stans you look for any reason to credit his mediocrity for greatness. But its cool because you can support who you want to support.
this is what he deserves

whether its hating on his peers, acting like an idiot on twitter, or claiming that he is from D.C. when everyone knows he grew up and went to school in Gaithersburg, Maryland...Wale is a FAILURE

So the article is quite acurate.
He is pretentious, arrogant, self-entitled and completely untalented
With so many other amazing artists in the DMV(Boobe, Fat Trel, Mullyman, Bossman, Whitefolkz, Don Juan, Gerreddi, Garvey, ect) it is amazing that he not only had the opportunity to blow up once, but TWICE

and it still isnt working for him

Sad, and unfortunate. He has set D.C. hip hop back another 2 decades.
Thank you Wale
:kghah:

Shouts out to the boxden conglomerate
WARD4NDC,

You a educated black man? because you clearly do not speak as one to make a idiotic remark such as ...

"the other garbage, I didn't and don't listen to. The same applies to GO Go music. Only uneducated lower class blacks listen to this shit. This is why the black community is such bad shape."

I know plenty of educated Black Men AND Women who are involved in Go Go Music, as well as rap music. Most holding college degree's and CHOSE to be within those fields of expressive art.

Yes, the black community is in bad shape but instead of pointing the finger at a profession such as being a musician, let's place the blame where it truly belongs....and thats on the parents. Some of the points you made, I do agree with such as the being presentable in both appearance and linguistics but to generalize 2 music genre's under bold and closed-minded rhetoric such as what you have typed is beyond understanding.

Maybe you should explore more music then Will Smith & Q.Latifah, because there are a TON of artist who do not subscribe to the b.s. politics of "sex, drugs and guns" in music.
Get over yourself, Santrise.
s/o to TDUGGA, the rest of you peeps talking ish about Whale (j/k) you need to get a life and stop wishing you had fame like MMG. One of Marylands highest grossing species us the Crab....go figure
This isn't journalism at all.

Not only is this article drenched in bias, it isn't even accurate. The commercial performance of Wale's debut had nothing to do with it's quality, it was a matter of availability. I remember having to journey to Largo to find it during that first week, and I wasn't alone. Interscope mishandled the rollout of Attention Deficit, and Wale as an artist in general. While the album covered many topics, it's no more "schizophrenic" than your article. With "90210", the album issued a cautionary tale. With "Shades", Wale explored the delicate topic of the black community's color complex and his own insecurities growing up in America with immigrant parents. On "Diary", he flexed his poetry muscles while crafting a song that every young black female needs to hear. Twice. Though the production was slightly different than what people were used to hearing, the rhymes weren't. The rhymes have never changed, and maybe you don't see the value because you don't care, they're either over your head or you just can't relate.

It's no secret that people don't like Wale, and the fact that he rubs people the wrong way triggers them to hate on his music. You seem to fall into this category. His need to respond to anything negative said about him on Twitter comes from a burning desire to be liked by everyone. That's exactly why he goes so hard for this area. The truth is that Wale could never be DC's "rap savior" because the area he loves so much doesn't love him back. If anything, he carries the cross for a place where the "crabs in a barrel" mentality runs rampant. Let's be real, it's tough to get love in a city like DC where people are as quick to dismiss you as they are to congratulate you. Wale might actually be better off if he stopped repping DC so hard and just did what he wanted to do, but that won't happen.

Wale's vulnerability makes him an easy target. It's difficult to be thrust into a spotlight you might not be ready for, and he seems to be aware of this. Check "Center of Attention" off of his debut for that. He might tire people with his rants, but it comes from a desire to be the best that he can be. He actually cares about the product he's putting out and how it's received. That's what ambition is all about. Also, not to say he's on the same path at all, but Jay-Z didn't get it right until his third album. His first album was brilliant, but sailed over heads. His second album tried to appeal to the times, but still had revealing gems like "You Must Love Me". It finally clicked on Vol.2, when he was damn near 30 years old.


Congrats, Mr. Noz. This is Basement Virgin journalism at it's finest. At least Byron Crawford is funny. If you're that bothered by Wale, why not show him how insignificant you think he is by ignoring him? Wale paid for UCB to join him on the Blueprint 3 Tour out of his own pocket, and in the process, spent more money than he made on the tour trying to take DC's culture nationwide. He's still trying to use his platform to do for others, while you have a platform to say something valid and you're wasting it.
The writer has a good point! We can't support a person who does not represent DC ACCURATELY! PPL IN DC ARE JUST EGAR TO APART OF HIP HOP'S HISTORY, SO WE ACCEPT ANYTHING!!!!!! LMAOOOOO! O, and by the way I'm from southeast! Fuck wale!!!!!!
STFU! wale is going to push 60 to 100k i say 75k
Article is typical DC, if the writer isn't a longtime resident he might as well be. I can't even be mad, but I think you might need to do more research than browsing twitter.

DC Loves to hate on it's own... That's one big reason why many artists had to LEAVE to make it and then BARELY mention that they came from DC.

If you are from DC, you know this is true. I've been here 30 years and I can make lists for you of artists in all genres of music, performance and visual artists that attended our schools, grew up and or lived on our streets and won't broadcast it in their successful professional careers in New York and/or LA. They moved on to survive and I can't blame them for doing it because the HOMETOWN HATRED is off the hook.

One famous actor/musician that I went to HS with has cut DC out of his bio completely... !

Wale is only a sophomore, give him some time. I can't hate doe, he has his joints, his following and he does his thing.
I don't remember him coming out to every event in the DC hiphop scene or even working that angle, he made his name elsewhere. BUT he did come home and does a ton of shows here, so you gotta respect that.

Peace

Rosina, what do you know? DC love their own. The problem is, DC does not see Wale as their own because he is not. All the talented GoGo bands get nothing but love from DC natives. You cannot name any successful rap artists that came out of DC because there are none. The ones that you are talking about are probably from MD or VA. Or they never spent enough time with the DC natives to pick up a DC style or the type of love for DC that other natives have. DC has DC love, if that's all we have.
What famous actor/musician has cut DC out of their bio? I see no reason for them to have done this, except to support your claims that DC tears down anybody that gains success from DC. Dave Chapelle, for one, grew up in Silver Spring. He tells people he is from DC. I have never heard anyone in DC badmouth him. Why? Because everyone finds him entertaining and he doesn't go around saying "I'm from DC, I'm from DC," every time you hear him talk. Wale does. He just asks for DC natives to hate on him. There are other MD and VA artists that claim to be from DC and do not find it necessary to stress that they are from DC. DC just ignores their false, rare claims.
If a musician has talent, and he or she(Nonchalant) is from DC, DC will love them. As far as I have heard, nobody from DC has displayed a great deal of talent worth praising. That is why there is no famous rapper from DC. Name one DC native that has gained notoriety and respect as a rapper? If you knew anything about GoGo music, DC music, you would know that DC is more than willing and ready to support their own when their own is actually from DC and have talent and images that they can respect. As the writer says, Wale is inconsistent. Some of his raps are very talented. Most of the time, they are mediocre, at best. And his constant, false claims of being a DC native and trying to enforce it by using DC slang in his lyrics only hinders his efforts to make fans out of real DC natives. Where are you from, MD or Va, on the outside looking in?
Oh, and you saying things like doe and joints doesn't give you any DC,street credibility. As you see, I have not used any DC slang, yet I have lived in DC for as long as you claim to have "been" in my city. And not only have I lived here, I have experienced the streets and the music culture, from GoGo to rap, from NW to SE. Did Wale ask you to voice his opinion? Wale knows very well that DC love their own. But he and you would like to look at us like "crabs." Because DC love their own is probably the reason that he attaches himself to DC,native GoGo bands. Wale knows that DC love UCB, BYB,and TCB. DC love that they are getting more fame and recognition off of Wale. Nobody in DC hates on those bands for doing videos and songs with Wale. DC only hates on Wale.
When DC natives hate on Wale, they are not hating on their own. Wale is not seen as a DC native, by DC natives. We see him as a Maryland kid that claims to be from DC because he thinks it makes him look tougher and cooler. People from DC have been hating on people from MD that do this since before Wale ever thought about rapping or claiming to be from DC.
i thought this article was totally on point. i'm not a wale fan and i feel like he's average at best. what's really trippin' me out is those of you who feel we need support him just because he's from dc or maryland, or wherever the heck he's claiming. are you serious? i guess you all ran out and bought the latest ginuwine cd too, huh? i support artists whose music i appreciate. i don't give a rat's ass where they're from. i've lived in dc or around dc all my life, i LOVE go-go, love hip-hop, but i'm not going to jump on the bandwagon 'cause some cat from maryland put out a cd. i may change my mind in the future, but right now, i'm not impressed.

he definitely wasn't representing the dc i know when he performed on bet (i think it was) a few years ago with that tight ass mickey mouse sweatshirt on. (http://www.nicekicks.com/2009/09/footwear-faceoff-wale-vs-kanye-jordan-vi-edition/) ummmmm...note to wale, we don't do that here, bruh.
so i was hesitant to read this because I thought it was going to be a spew of hate. but the thing is, as a big wale fan, alot of these are the same issues i have. the way you've written, it seems like you are also pulling for wale but keep seeing him get in the way of himself. my only issue is that all this "telling you about yourself" is great and coming from a friend, he might actually listen to it, but in such a large public setting it will be mainly be viewed as hate and not constructive criticism. and by the time it gets back to him, if it does, you've only become one of his biggest "haters".
damn you a hater. are you the whole dc? crabs in a barrel... crabs in a barrel
It's amazing how much commenters missed the point on this article. I really liked 100 Miles and Runnin, and this album to me is boring. I don't follow Wale on Twitter anymore because he's obnoxious, like the article points out.

Clearly the author doesn't speak for all of DC, who does? If you like the album or like Wale's personality, say why, don't just say the writer is from somewhere else and he is a hater. Ok, and? And just because people like him, we shouldn't say anything negative about him? That's ridiculous.
I still listen to all of his music, regardless. So, ha. LOL.
I'm going start off by saying I AM A WALE FAN but god where is the professionalism at? I understand you're have a right to your opinion but you're representing not only yourself but the professional integrity of your colleagues. I'm from Emporia, Virginia and live in Virginia Beach. And though I understand your point but what you precieve as arrogance others (including Wale) may percieve as passion. My opinion, though his first album wasn't the best it was conceptionally innovative, he took risks that many of artists are scared to make. "Chillin" was a label single and I say that because it wasn't remotely close to depth the other tracks have on the album.

I've listened to Wale since he put out a mixtape about nothing. He totally destroyed every song on that Self Made album. I honestly can't believe that you think that "More About Nothing" wasn't close to being the not only mixtape of the year but album of the year. That and Joe Budden's Mood Muzik 4 and Kanye West's MBDTF restored my faith in hip-hop. "The very people who try to tear down people's dream are people who've had they're dreams shattered".

Wale learn from flaws, keep progressing, keep selling out shows, and keep destroying every single song you get on. STOP oversaturating your mixtape/albums with female songs, though 11-1-11 Theory and Ambition were great, taking out a couple of those female songs probably would've made them better. Only a rapper knows what a rapper goes through to get where he's trying to be.
This is exactly what Wale talks about when regarding his hometown hating on him. From the 124 and I love his music.
I can't believe all the negative things that have been said about Wale. He has worked really hard to get where he is today. Although there are many ways to measure success, the fact that his music is out there is indicative of his success. Every time he can, he is giving back to his fans and to D.C. I just saw him on the Jimmy Fallon show last week and he was on with Jimmy Kimmel a few months ago. Let's stop hating on our hometown boy and give credit where credit is due. Love you, Wale.
Typical dc, hating on anyone who's from here and has success. Ever wonder why nobody from dc never made it nationally, no support from the hometown, why should the industry take a chance on u when u can't even sell out a show in ur own home town. Wale has the best flow in hip hop right now. Lil Wayne, kayne, j Cole, Jim Jones don't even come close, and he actually raps about something other than selling bricks, diamonds, chains and how much money he got, so intellectual that most of the stuff he says will go over ur head. Certainly the case with the person who wrote this article. All these rappers no good and well if they stop wearing chains and diamonds, and stop talking about that dumb shit, they won't sell a lick. The " mixtape about nothing" is the best mistake I heard all year hands down. It's 2012 find something else better to do than HATING, and I hope wale never gives this wack newspaper an interview.
I think you can only understand if you are really from DC and have not been fooled. This nigga is not from here and it just irks me that he has this fake ass persona pretending to be from here and name dropping people that don't like him. I can't knock the hustle though, watched this nigga use people to get in the position he is in today.
Except LeBron is the best in the game and Wale...well, he's irrelevant.
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I am in Richmond,VA and have seen the hate that DMV people have for Wale. What does everyone think now that he had a #1 album? Is it still considered #WALEFLAIL ???
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