Wale shows maturity in latest confrontation


Wale performs in the crowd at Yardfest Music festival at Howard University in 2010 – Josh Sisk/For the Washington Post

I don’t spend a whole ton of time following hip-hop beefs, mainly because half the time they’re nothing more than promotional tools disguised as problems. But because Wale reps D.C. the way he does, and is part of a multifaceted nationally-based crew, his activities often get more play than they probably should.

In the past, he’s reacted to criticism (fair or not) a bit harshly. He once accosted an NBA TV play-by-play man in an arena in Toronto for calling him a “local rapper.” He also once called up a magazine and threatened a bunch of people after they didn’t rank one of his albums high enough for his liking. At the time, it all came across as somewhat petty and in turn, shined an unfortunate light on the District’s music scene,  which he is the biggest member of  like it or not.

And now, this: Meek Mill, Wale’s label mate, came after him with a pretty silly concern that Wale was not promoting his album with enough fervor. Mill, a Philadelphia native, then fired off a bunch of insulting tweets at Wale. Twitter was waiting to take the bait and stoke this fire, knowing Wale’s history.

But then, something incredible happened. Wale replied with a statement via Instagram, and it might be the most thoughtful thing I’ve ever heard from him. He was completely honest about who he is as a person, how he chooses to have fun and what his goals are as a musician.

He basically said, I don’t have time for this nonsense, respectfully, I’m trying to make music that makes me happy. Good for you, Wale. He’s always been an interesting and creative character, even if his music is considered a reasonably strong sell in today’s climate. To see him distancing himself from the foolishness that’s plagued his reputation over the years is a welcome sight. It’s since been deleted, but here’s the text of the post.

“Few weeks ago. (7w) I posted this .but ok. Movin along . My Avi always changed when it’s THAT time .. Ok that’s not enough y’all see “razor ramon ” post on his no. But I don’t care.. I wrote a long [expletive]  post day before his single dropped .. Mariah record dropped nobody said a word I didn’t care .. I still don’t… I carry myself with confidence and humility ., I always try to have a lighter side to MMG.. Cuz I understand I don’t “fit the mold” so if I’m tryna spruce an interview up to show that we not tryn be “serious tough guys” on the red carpet Or try to be a bit more engaging to broaden our audience forgive me . I never wanted anybody to think we take ourselves THAT serious. ([We're] rappers )I don’t need to take anybody shine.. Or hate on anybody . I walk in a completely different world .. Where I look for slp jeans and Shanghai dunks online and know what “kayfabe” means. I check nbadraft.net daily . I’m on whatculture allll day I enjoy [expletive] like that. I play [expletive] Zelda and [expletive]wit [expletive] who teach yoga and paint… I get it . I’m different . I always embrace that [expletive].. I encourage y’all to embrace what y’all like or the person y’all wanna be.. I text [expletive] happy Father’s Day and get no reply .. I laugh it off .. I laugh at how I write songs about “chain music” and y’all get lost or “600benzz” i like to have fun with our culture. Because I believe I add THAT to a “gangster rap” faction. I made my opportunity work[s] for me that way. I write poems . I watch wwe . I collect kicks. I’m sensitive ok. Maybe bi polar. But one thing I’m not is a hater.. I see Daquan jokes all day yesterday and patted myself on the back that I’m regarded as the aforementioned adjectives and not “Daquan”. I’m me and I’ll be me and do this [expletive]wit my “dew” till I don’t wanna do it. I encourage you to wake up soon as you find time. This was a post about #nothin ✊”

Then he dropped a new song about the matter. It might be time for Wale to find a new clique. He’s better than this.

Clinton Yates is a D.C. native and an online columnist. When he's not covering the city, pop culture or listening to music, he watches sports. A lot of them.
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