The Washington Post

Rapper Wale sets 2012 agenda after a very good year

If you are daunted by your New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking or stop watching so much reality television, you should see what rapper Wale has planned for 2012.

“New year, new goals,” he told a hometown crowd on Sunday night at his Fillmore Silver Spring show, before running down his ambitious to-do list.

The guy did a lot last year: He dropped the critically acclaimed “Eleven One Eleven Theory” mix tape and the less-well-received “Ambition,” his second studio album. He signed with Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group — instantly upping his profile — and had a strong showing on MMG’s “Self Made Vol. 1.”

So how’s he going to top all of that? “I’m about to bring D.C. a gold album in 2012,” he said. The rapper, who performed Sunday with Da Big Fella and Black Cobain, said that “Ambition,” released in October, is on target to be certified gold in “early April.”

Wale then launched into “Legendary,” saying that when he wrote the bragging track from “Ambition,” he imagined performing it “at home, announcing that the album just went gold — this is as close as we’re gonna get.”

Wale also said he’s considering dropping “200 Miles & Running” this year. The follow-up to his amazing 2007 “100 Miles & Running” mix tape would be good news for people who prefer his mix-tape output to his label projects.

This year, he also wants to raise the District’s profile as a fashion mecca. “I just did an interview with GQ, and they asked me where I get my style from,” he said. “I said, ‘From home.’ ”

Wale got everyone in the crowd to wave their sneakers in the air during “Fitted Cap” and to sing off-key during the hit hip-hop ballad “Lotus Flower Bomb.”

The place then erupted at the first notes of “Bait,” which is probably the best thing Wale did last year. The track, which has a bounce percussion courtesy of go-go band TCB (which, sadly, wasn’t there to perform it live), name-checks all things D.C., from the Stadium Club to the Goodman League games.

Wale ended “Bait” by promising that he would “get that Grammy for y’all!” An even better goal for 2012 would be more tracks exactly like that.

Godfrey is a freelance writer.

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