When Wale first started buzzing a few years back, he was seen as a member of hip-hop’s new class of cool. Just like Kid Cudi, Drake, and B.o.B, Mr. Folarin blew up after releasing acclaimed mixtapes (The Mixtape About Nothing and 100 Miles & Running) and fostering an alternative style that hip-hop fans who grew up on Kanye West were oh so ready for. He was signed to Interscope, graced the cover of XXL‘s Freshman issue, and got Lady Gaga on his first single. Everything was going according to plan.
But no plan ever goes according to plan. Things starts going wrong when Wale dropped his debut album, Attention Deficit, in late 2009 and sold a meager 28,000 his first week. For a while, his career seemed adrift. But then he got some unexpected help when Rick Ross reached out and signed him to Maybach Music Group imprint. With MMG’s debut album, Self Made Vol. 1, on the way—along with his sophomore set (he’s flirting with the title Artistic Integrity) on the horizon—there’s a renewed interest in the once promising MC. As the D.C. native gears up to become the star many once believed he would be, we sat down with him to talk about his upcoming Kid Cudi collaboration, his public perception, and why he wants to be known as the best rapper of 2011.
Interview by Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)
How did you get cool with Cudi again?
Cudi just called me. He was like, “Man, I fucks with you man, you know?” We just had a real brother conversation. It was a long conversation but a lot of things needed to be said. Some of the things that he said hurt and I’m sure some of the things I’ve said or done probably hurt. The nigga told me what was on his mind and I respect that.
We handled it like men. That’s my man. We wouldn’t want to keep going on not being friends. I’m about to do my second album, Cudi is working on his rock album. We just felt like it’s time. Like, “Man, we used to be cool. We used to hang every day. Fuck all the bullshit.” We both had a little bit of turmoil in our lives, but we’re both in a happy place now.
We talk all the time now. We talk about what’s going on in life. The thing about me and him is we always talk about what’s going on beyond music. We always used to do that and now we’re back on that now. If you see our text messages, it’s like, “What’s up man? I just had a bad couple of days. It’s awesome man.” He’s like, “Me too nigga, I’m good though.” Shit like that. Cudi is my man yo. He’s one of my true friends in this game.
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